METRO Cash & Carry celebrates its 50th birthday: the company launched its first German self-service wholesale department store on 25 October 1964. Now, 50 years later, it has stores in 28 countries.
31.2 billion euro turnover
METRO Cash & Carry's first wholesale store (Mülheim an der Ruhr) in 1964 was unique at the time: instead of placing orders with several suppliers, retailers and catering people were able to purchase everything at one location and take everything with them immediately.
It turned out to be a success and several hundred stores followed, turning METRO Cash & Carry one of the world's largest self-service wholesale store groups in the world with 763 stores in 28 countries across Europe, Asia and North Africa. 120,000 employees helped generate a 31.2 billion euro turnover in 2012-2013 thanks to nearly 20,000 food products and 30,000 non-food products.
METRO may have turned out a success in those 50 years, but growth has been harder to achieve over the past few years. The German company had announced in September that it wished to close its 5 Danish wholesale stores, with 700 employees, as they have been onerous for years. "Denmark is too small and too hard of a market for wholesalers", CEO Olaf Koch said.