Duesseldorf, 10 February 2015. METRO GROUP is actively shaping the future of the trade industry and is increasingly opening up its sales lines both inwardly and outwardly to innovative ideas. With this objective, METRO is joining up with US company Techstars, one of the most highly recognised international mentorship programmes, to support innovative hospitality start-ups. The newly launched Techstars METRO Accelerator targets companies offering innovative technology applications for the restaurant, hotel and catering industries. In the context of this programme, experienced mentors and experts spend three months helping start-ups to advance their business. Techstars METRO Accelerator is the first global programme focused on technology applications for the hospitality sector. International digital agency R/GA will supplement both partners’ knowhow at the Techstars METRO Accelerator in Berlin.
Teams of founders are being sought with technology-based services and products that simplify, accelerate and digitise operational processes and customer relationships of restaurants, cafés, snack bars and catering businesses or hotels. The aim is to make this important METRO customer group even more successful in future thanks to technological innovations. The programme will kick off at the end of April in Berlin. “With programmes like the Accelerator, we are searching specifically for innovations that tie in with our strengths and which we can thus develop better than others,” says Olaf Koch, Chairman of the Management Board of METRO AG and CEO of METRO Cash & Carry. “With 1.6 billion customers per year in our stores, almost a billion visitors on our websites and around 75 million loyalty cards, METRO GROUP has a unique customer base in a broad portfolio of retail formats. Coupled with our marketing and sales power as well as our procurement competence, we have the ability to help new ideas and innovations, both stationary and digital, to succeed.”
In order to promote communication between innovative technology start-ups from the trade and hospitality sectors with METRO GROUP and its sales lines, the company has created a new platform. At the “Innovation in Retail Meetups” at the Metro Campus in Düsseldorf, business founders present their ideas and business models and discuss them with other entrepreneurs, start-up experts and Metro representatives. The bi-monthly Meetups were started only recently, but have already evolved into a popular networking platform for the sector.
Overall, the international retail and wholesale company is amalgamating the realignment of its sales lines according to relevant customer, market and technological trends. To this end, METRO GROUP is merging the areas of Strategy, Investment Management and Business Innovation into one powerful strategic unit. “Our strategy aims to achieve a balanced mixture of business models and countries in future,” Koch says. “This includes on the one hand the repositioning of our sales lines, but also developing new business segments. With our new innovation approach, we see ourselves well equipped to do this.”
Please read the complete press release attached.