Duesseldorf, 12 December 2014. Emmas Enkel, an emerging corner store and online food retailer, has found a strong partner: METRO GROUP is a new shareholder in the Düsseldorf-based start-up company and now supports its business processes as well as the further growth of the retailer across the whole of Germany. Among others, an intensification of its expansion in Germany and the supply of all stores by METRO's sales line Real are planned.
Emmas Enkel (which translates to Emma's grandchildren) combines conventional retail in the tradition of the former corner stores, or so called "mom-and-pop stores" with modern online retail. The start-up company currently operates two stores in Düsseldorf and Essen. "We are pleased to move forward into the future together with Emmas Enkel. At the heart of the concept is the absolute proximity to the customer, and this is also what our sales lines are committed to", says Olaf Koch, Chairman of the Management Board of METRO AG and CEO of METRO Cash & Carry. "We will support this innovative young retail company as a partner in the opening of further locations in German city centres".
To this effect, METRO GROUP acquired a 15 percent stake in the Düsseldorf-based multichannel start-up. As an operational partner, the sales line Real supports the sourcing process of the city-centre stores: Real supplies Emmas Enkel with quality food, regional fresh produce, household items and drugstore products as well as own brand articles.
"Real is one of the most innovative players in the German retail sector. For several years already, we have been very successfully testing different distribution channels in addition to our store-based business. The next step is now to offer more customers solutions for their food purchases that optimally match their personal circumstances. This way, we are responding to the growing customer demand for planning their shopping according to individual needs and time available. Here, Emmas Enkel offers the perfect complement allowing us to reach also new customers, especially in city center locations", explains Didier Fleury, CEO of Real.
The concept of Emmas Enkel links the best of "the good old times" with the technology of the internet age. The two young entrepreneurs Sebastian Diehl and Benjamin Brüser founded Emmas Enkel in 2011. Since then, customers can conventionally buy fresh groceries, office supplies as well as drugstore products and household items at the counter of a centrally located corner store. Alternatively they can order them via smart phone and online shop and have them delivered to their home. "We are pleased that, with METRO GROUP and Real we have found competent, experienced partners with a strong national footprint", said Sebastian Diehl. "Our business model combining traditional and digital retail is extremely well received by the customers. Together with our new shareholder and our existing co-partners Andreas Bremke, Hartmut Ostrowski and Christian Busch, we plan to rapidly accelerate our expansion in Germany in the next few months".
Emmas Enkel has around 3,500 articles on stock at the different stores. Customers collect their picked purchases at the store or have them delivered to their homes by the food delivery service in the metropolitan areas of Düsseldorf, Essen or the entire Ruhr Region on the same day. Delivery is always handled from one of the stores. That is where the employees pick the customer's purchases according to his choice: whether for the soccer evening, breakfast or dinner with friends, the complete "healthy week" or filling up the refrigerator after returning from vacation. The atmosphere at the homey local corner store, including a lounge area and in-store online ordering options as well as friendly and competent staff, combined with modern ordering and delivery services characterise the concept.
"Acquiring a stake in Emmas Enkel is also in line with our strategy of opening up all customer-oriented and innovative distribution channels for METRO GROUP", stresses Olaf Koch. "It is only a small step for now - but it sends a strong signal and offers a very high potential".