Metro Cash & Carry celebrates 50th birthday | RetailDetail

Metro Cash & Carry celebrates 50th birthday

Metro Cash & Carry celebrates 50th birthday

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.

Questions or comments? Please feel free to contact the editors

"Protectionism makes everyone poorer" (Christian Verschueren, EuroCommerce)


Trade wars and discrimination within the single market create growing pressures on retailers in Europe. EuroCommerce Director-General Christian Verschueren is concerned, but looks forward confidently to the future.

Amazon targets Toys 'R' Us stores


Amazon is apparently interested in several of bankrupt Toys ‘R’ Us’ stores, because their locations and stores would fit Amazon’s own retail formulas.

The end of the retail employee


For the first time it’s safe to say that the future of work is really fabricated by futuristic events. People will need to become just as versatile as AI technologies and blockchain applications. Are you ready?

Alibaba doubles Lazada investment


Chinese Alibaba will once again invest 2 billion dollars (1.6 billion euro) into e-commerce company Lazada, active in Southeast Asia. It invested a similar sum in the group about two years ago.

CK Hutchison owner steps down


Li Ka-shing, CK Hutchinson’s owner and CEO, will step aside mid-May. The 89-year old will then pass on the baton to his eldest son, Victor Li, who will then take control of chains like Kruidvat and ICI Paris XL.

Toys ‘R’ Us goes bankrupt


The definitive end is approaching for the former toy store giant, Toys “R” Us. After the death sentence was signed for its 100 British stores, its American store network will also shut down.

Back to top