Metro to sell Real

September 13th, 2018. Booth of Real.de at DMEXCO 2018 in Cologne. Photo: Mark Pfeiffer.

September 13th, 2018, Real is exposing their online marketplace real.de to the general public at DMEXCO 2018 in Cologne. Reportedly it is experiencing a successful start after having taken over Hitmeister in 2017, even after increasing commissions in 2018. For the ongoing year mother company Metro is expecting its e-commerce daughter to grow by 90% vs. 2017 and reach an online-turnover of more than 380 M€.

A few kilometers downstream of river Rhine, at the same day in Düsseldorf, the parent company is officially publishing a press release announcing to start procedure to sell Real and all of its 282 outlets with 34.000 employees, stating it wants to put its focus on their wholesale business with its professional customers only.

As initiated in 2015, the Metro Group – after separating from Kaufhof and Media-Saturn – now wants to sell Real as soon as possible.

With its number of outlets and a growing online business, buying Real could be interesting for Amazon. Even though the brand “Real” would be completely unimportant for the American online giant it could be a strategic chance to introduce its concept “Amazon Go” into the important German market.

Other sources are putting names like Signa-Holding (Karstadt/Kaufhof) or Chinese online giants like Alibaba and JD.com on the list of potential investors. Even Schwarz Group (Lidl/Kaufland) is added to the discussion.

The coming weeks and months will be exciting to watch. Who might be willing to continue with the operations of Real? Even more exciting will it be to watch what happens if they do not find someone at all. Would Metro even endure giving up Real or selling it in parts?