Retail Germany 2018: Rewe now second, Amazon conquers fifth

Photo and © Rewe.

The German retailer ranking for 2018, just published by Lebensmittelzeitung, can be regarded as a vital sign for full-assortment retailers being still alive. Compared to 2017, Schwarz and Rewe are switching ranks. Amazon overtook Metro and enters the German TOP 5.

Lidl and the Rewe supermarkets are the formats with the strongest growth in German brick-and-mortar food retailing. This is evident from the current Top 30 Ranking 2019 published by Lebensmittelzeitung.

Retailer ranking 2018 (food / nonfood):

1. Edeka 58.75 €bn (+4.3% vs. 2017, full-assortment banners +4.8 %, Netto +3.1 %)
2. Rewe Group 40.02 € bn (+4.2 % vs. 2017, full-assortment banners +4.7 %, Penny +3.3 %)
3. Schwarz-Gruppe 39.98 €bn (+3.0 % vs. 2017, Lidl +4.7 %, Kaufland +0.3 %)
4. Aldi 30.29 €bn (+3.0 % vs. 2017, Aldi Süd +4.5 %, Aldi Nord +0.9 %)
5. Amazon 15.24 €bn (+17.4 % vs. 2017, mainly nonfood)
6. Metro AG 13.5 €bn (-1.1 % vs. 2017, Metro C+C +1 %, Real -2.4 %)
7. Lekkerland 8.84 €bn (-1.0 % vs. 2017)
8. dm 8.11 €bn (+3.2 % vs. 2017)
9. Rossmann 6.66 €bn (+4.1 % vs. 2017)
10. Globus 5.16 €bn (+1.5 % vs. 2017)

Again (see also last year´s report) there are some key findings:

Edeka remains first, 18 million Euros ahead of Rewe Group, with a strong growth of their discounter Netto. The growth of their full-assortment banners is also strong, but distorted by a special effect, generated through acquisitions of retail chain Feneberg (now becoming strongest individual group within the Edeka cooperative) and acquisition of some Combi-outlets (from Bünting).

Rewe is now ranking second, showing a strong growth with their dicounter Penny, but also growing strongly in their full-assortment channel.

Schwarz group is ranking third with an overall strong growth and „only“ 45 million Euros less revenue than Rewe, growing strongly with Lidl, but Kaufland remaining almost static compared to the year before, thus impacting the overall growth of Schwarz.

Aldi is finishing fourth, demonstrating a solid growth with a total market share of 11 %, but Aldi Süd and North performed differently during 2018. Aldi Nord generated sales of around 13 billion euros and is smaller than the Edeka discount store Netto (14.8 billion euros), but almost as large as the entire Metro Group (13.5 billion euros in sales). Aldi Süd (17.4 €bn, +4.5 %) is growing almost as much as its competitor Lidl and is significantly larger than its sister Aldi Nord.

Amazon is showing the largest growth and entered the German top 5. It is still kind of exotic as their 15.24 €bn in revenue are mainly generated by nonfood items. If at the same time competitors are investing in fresh food and service, we can conclude that there is a continuing trend of nonfood items disappearing from the shelves of brick-and-mortar.

Metro is in sixth rank but within the top group it is showing the weakest development with -1.1 % versus 2017. As soon as Metro finds a buyer for their mass-market chain Real, Metro´s name will drop out of the German top 10. The former German retail giant will then land significantly behind the two family companies dm and Rossmann. Both drugstore competitors continue to grow.

Mass-markets Kaufland and Real seem to be slowing down in growth. The coming years will prove if this is a general trend of the format or if there are individual reasons.

Edeka and Rewe grew in their supermarket channels, which is remarkable because the discounters are expanding their assortment and are driving the “supermarketisation”. But Edeka and Rewe try to keep the conceptual gap or even increase it by keeping the investment in new stores and existing markets high and by constantly changing the assortments. Supermarket customers seem to appreciate the shopping experiences of instore-restaurants, manifold wineracks and counters for freshfood. Lidl is very active in pushing into the same direction as well and started experimenting with new store concepts.

Source of figures:
Lebensmittelzeitung 10/2019
(based on “Außenumsatz”, i.e. in very simple words: B2C revenue of consumer goods. Tourism and „internal“ sales are not included)