In his first interview as interim CEO of Ceconomy, Bernhard Düttmann announced a major change in the stores of the MediaMarkt and Saturn chains. He thinks his stores are too big, and: "the atmosphere in some of our stores is still too cold."
According to Düttmann, who replaced Jörn Werner in October and will now run the company for a year, the atmosphere and appearance of the stores must change. "People want to experience something, they want to have fun shopping", the CEO told German newspaper Handelsblatt. In order to do something about that, he wants to reduce the average store size: today they are 3000 sqm on average, while the CEO thinks their ideal size is rather 1700 to 1800 sqm.
In order to get the company to safer grounds, Düttmann wants to centralise the organisation, saving costs and shorten decision-making channels. "We come from a fully decentralised world: stores, countries - they all acted very independently", he said. "The company has been wallowing in a false sense of security for far too long. When we realised that, we intervened."
Düttmann does not spare his predecessors in the same interview: "A CEO must always get the team behind him, otherwise he cannot change anything", he says about Jörn Werner. His predecessor, Pieter Haas, also gets reprimanded: "When I stepped on the board, we were shown a lot of graphs about the transformation of the company. They first looked good." But along the way, the top man noticed that little was achieved: "They coordinated, but never implemented the results", Düttman said.