Business / Q and A with CEO

Ringing up sales on new retail mode

By WANG MINGJIE (China Daily) Updated: 2015-10-30 08:07

Ringing up sales on new retail mode

Olaf Koch, chairman of the management board of Metro Group. [Photo/Agencies]

Metro Group wants to foster the spirit of 'in business together' in China, says chairman of German giant

As one of the first German companies to enter the Chinese market, retail giant Metro Group has unveiled a strategic partnership with the leading Chinese online and mobile commerce company Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, to sell imported German and European products to Chinese consumers.

"The innovative platform will help us deliver more quality imported goods and German brands to Chinese customers," said Olaf Koch, chairman of the management board of Metro Group.

In 1996, Metro Group opened its first Metro Cash & Carry store in Shanghai, the group's self-service wholesale business. Now, more than 12,000 employees work for Metro in 56 cities in China with turnover of 2.27 billion euros ($2.49 billion) in 2014.

But Kock said that as the Chinese market is so different from Europe, simply copying the Western operation approaches wouldn't work at all.

Recently Koch spoke to China Daily about his vision and strategy and new opportunities for Metro Group's China operations. Following are edited excerpts of the interview:

What are your business strategies in adjusting to the latest Chinese economic initiatives?

We appreciate the Chinese government's efforts to stimulate domestic consumption and boost consumer spending to drive the economic growth. We are committed to providing them with top quality products in broad assortment, from both domestic and international suppliers, and see the increasing consumption as a good opportunity for us to grow business.

The Belt and Road Initiative is an ambitious strategy for Eurasia prosperity through trade cooperation and economic integration.

Metro Group has for decades been engaged in global trade, and we believe our expertise in sourcing and supply chain can contribute to the enhancement of Europe-Asia trade links.

How would you comment on the prospects of your company in China in the context of the country's current economic situation?

In China, we possess a solid commercial position and proven track record for high quality and broad assortment. The country offers remarkable opportunities for our business.

We are continuing to refurbish our existing stores in China to offer customers an even better shopping experience. As the market continues to develop there will be a significant growth in demand for high quality products and the "out of home" consumption will certainly grow-both in quantity and quality. Metro is prepared and committed to contribute to this development.

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