Rewe Group

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Rewe-Zentralfinanz eG

legal form Joint stock company
founding 1927
Seat Cologne , GermanyGermanyGermany 
  • Erich Stockhausen
    (Chairman of the Supervisory Board)
Number of employees 363,633 (2019)
sales 62.7 billion euros (2019)
Branch Trade , tourism
As of April 29, 2020

The Rewe Group (proper spelling: REWE Group) is an international group of companies with headquarters in Cologne . Its history goes back to 1927. After the Second World War, the cooperative purchasing association became one of Germany's largest trading groups. In the 2000s, tourism developed into a second mainstay.

The Rewe Group is organized as a cooperative and consists of two subgroups. Your international businesses are bundled under the umbrella of Rewe International . The sales lines include, for example, Billa , Penny , Rewe , Toom , DER Touristik Deutschland as well as ITS Reisen and Lekkerland . The Rewe Group's turnover in the 2019 financial year was EUR 62.7 billion.



In 1927 the Revisionsverband der Westkauf-Genossenschaften (Rewe for short) started work in Cologne. Its business purpose was to promote the business of independent merchants through the joint purchase of goods on competitive terms. Hazelnuts, dried apricots and raisins were among the most frequently traded products in the early years. In order to secure additional advantages over the competition, purchasing cooperatives began in the 1930s to influence the affiliated dealers with regard to shop fittings and advertising. With this in mind, uniform lettering was introduced in 1932.

In 1935, several purchasing cooperatives from Central Germany joined Rewe. In order to enable further growth, district headquarters were established, which still form the backbone of Rewe today. In the 1930s, Rewe grew more and more outside the traditional Rhenish-Westphalian economic area; In 1940 the number of cooperatives (106) and their members (around 8,000) reached a temporary high. The Second World War marked a turning point for the trading group, as important goods were difficult to obtain and many merchants had to go to the front for military service. In order to compensate for the problems in the traditional business, Rewe shifted its activities to production. In the further course, important parts of the administration were destroyed by bombing, so that Rewe was almost unable to act at the end of the war.


Share of more than DM 500 in Rewe Lebensmittel-Großhandel eGmbH on July 20, 1956

After the end of the war, Rewe resumed business operations in August 1945 . After the head office was relocated to Fredeburg and Bödefeld during the war due to the closer front lines , Rewe now returned to Cologne to start over. Due to the division of Germany into sectors, work was initially severely restricted, and branches were only gradually established in West Germany and West Berlin . Not all suppliers of branded goods were able to meet the need for basic foodstuffs, and there were problems with the procurement of sugar, among other things. This was one of the reasons for the introduction of the first trade brands in 1949. Flour, trickle salt and table oil were offered under the Rewe Dreistern brand, and margarine under the Rewe Kronjuwel brand. In the course of the reconstruction, Rewe positioned itself more decentrally. In 1960, Rewe again had over 100 member companies for the first time.

Various takeovers of supermarkets and chains in the 1960s and 1970s resulted in a wide variety of brands and formats. Against the background of the consolidation of the grocery trade in Germany, there were talks between Rewe and Edeka about a merger in 1971 . Together they would have covered around a quarter of the market. In the end, however, the project was not implemented, partly because of antitrust concerns. After the previously largely independent regional cooperatives had ceded all important management functions to the Rewe headquarters in 1968 , the partnership model that is still used today was introduced in 1972. The headquarters converted into a stock corporation, whose shareholders are the wholesalers, took over, for example, sales promotion and other central services. It gained considerably more importance. The cooperative auditing association was limited to funding the group.


Participation in the Leibbrand Group proved to be decisive for further development . In 1974 Rewe secured 50 percent and later 100 percent of the shares in the company, which included the Penny and Toom Baumarkt brands. The corporate group was referred to in public as the Rewe Leibbrand Group. Two years later, Rewe's sales exceeded the mark of ten billion marks for the first time . When Hans Reischl was appointed to the central board in 1977, the manager's ascent began, which was to have a decisive influence on Rewe over the next few years. In 1979, Rewe won a landmark ruling from the European Court of Justice for the free movement of goods in Europe. The focus of the decision was a liqueur that Rewe wanted to import from France despite its alcohol content, which was too low according to German law.

In 1983 Kaiser + Kellermann joined the trading group, later Rewe took a 75 percent stake in the company. The acquisition of 50 percent of the Atlas travel agencies meant entry into the tourism industry. Another commitment in this segment came in the mid-1990s with the takeover of ITS Reisen. After German reunification, Rewe expanded into the new federal states. The first supermarkets appeared in Weimar and Berlin, for example. After experimenting with building supermarkets under the Penny brand in England, Italy, Spain and France, Rewe took over the Austrian group led by Billa and Merkur in 1996 . With this step, the trading group positioned itself internationally and secured a permanent presence in Eastern and Southern Europe.


With the publication of the Rewe website under the domain in 1997, the company expanded its presence on the Internet. In 1999, Deutsche Bahn announced that Rewe had been awarded the contract to take over the subsidiary Deutsches Reisebüro with effect from January 1, 2000. The company achieved sales of over five billion marks and had around 4,300 employees. Rewe advanced to become a leading provider in the tourism industry. The German travel agency formed the cornerstone for the group’s second mainstay alongside the traditional grocery store. Due to the ongoing organic growth as well as further takeovers and partnerships, sales reached record levels in the 2000s. In order to underline the connection to the headquarters, Rewe became the (main) sponsor of 1. FC Köln .

Shortly after Alain Caparros took office as CEO of the Rewe Group, the company gave up its traditional sales brands. In one fell swoop, around 2,800 of over 3,000 supermarkets were given a new logo. The renaming of the HL, Minimal, Otto-Mess, Kontra, Petz and Stüssgen stores to Rewe promised increasing market shares. The head office of the trading group appeared from then on under the name Rewe Group. By opening new stores and taking over 300 Plus locations, Rewe again expanded its extensive presence in the German market. In the years that followed, digitization and sustainability became more important.

2007 – today

Rewe repeatedly experimented nationally and internationally with new concepts for the food trade. One example of this is the Temma supermarkets, a modern take on corner shops . "Rewe to go" started in 2011 to compete with fast food chains; The main focus of the range is on ready-to-eat products such as salads, baked goods, drinks and coffee. After the Group's travel division had successfully established itself nationally and internationally, the DER Touristik Group was launched in 2013 as the umbrella company for this area. With this, the DER brand replaced the previously less known name Rewe Touristik.

In 2013, the Rewe Group set the target of reducing specific greenhouse gas emissions by half by 2022 compared to the reference year 2006. In the same year they took part in research projects to prevent the mass killing of day-old male chicks . The company focuses on the so-called Seleggt process, which determines gender at an early stage by removing a drop of embryonic urine from the hatching egg. In addition, the Rewe Group founded Rewe Digital, a subsidiary for all strategic online activities. Among other things, a stake in commercetools and Zooroyal was secured. In 2017, the Rewe Group announced that it would invest additional billions in the digitization of its businesses.

According to media reports, the Rewe Group announced on May 28, 2019 that it wanted to take over the wholesaler Lekkerland in full. This should strengthen the convenience food business. Lekkerland AG & Co. KG, based in Frechen, has been 100% owned by the Rewe Group since October 9, 2019.



The Rewe Group consists of two largely independent groups whose financial statements are pooled on a voluntary basis. Its parent companies are Rewe-Zentral- Aktiengesellschaft and Rewe-Zentralfinanz- Genossenschaft . While Rewe-Zentral-Aktiengesellschaft takes care of central areas and wholesaling, Rewe-Zentralfinanz-Genossenschaft ensures the financing of the entire group of companies. In the statutes of both group companies as a business purpose of trade in goods of all kinds and the operation anchored by tourism businesses. The Rewe-Zentral-Aktiengesellschaft and the Rewe-Zentralfinanz-Genossenschaft together with their subsidiaries, holdings and associated and affiliated companies form the so-called Rewe trading group, the largest part of which is the Rewe Group.


Rewe-Zentral-Aktiengesellschaft and the Rewe-Zentral financial cooperative hold a master / General Assembly on what decides Business Support on the broad operations. They elect the members of the supervisory board. While the committee at Rewe-Zentral-Aktiengesellschaft has equal representation, the supervisory board of Rewe-Zentralfinanz-Genossenschaft is controlled by merchants. At its head is Erich Stockhausen. The operational management of the Rewe Group is the responsibility of the Executive Board, whose composition and division of responsibilities is identical at both Group companies. After Alain Caparros withdrew, Lionel Souque took over the chairmanship of the board. His deputy is Jan Kunath. Sören Hartmann , Head of Tourism, and Christian Mielsch, Chief Financial Officer of the Rewe Group, also belong to the Management Board. Frank Wiemer, who is responsible for specialist stores, among other things, will step down from the board in 2019. This reduces the board of directors to four members.


The investments of the Rewe Group are divided into consolidated, associated and affiliated companies as well as joint ventures. Most of them are based in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and other European countries. Internationally, the Rewe Group is active in China and the United States, among others. In the 2016 financial year, 385 companies were consolidated in the consolidated financial statements . Most of the 1,129 associated companies were operating companies in German Rewe stores. Akzenta -beteiligungsgesellschaft based in Wuppertal is one of the 15 affiliated companies that are not consolidated . One of the five joint ventures is ITS Coop Travel, based in Volketswil , which was founded by the Rewe Group and the Swiss trading company Coop .

Sales lines

The Rewe Group divides its sales lines into the categories Retail Germany, Retail International, Specialist Stores, Tourism and Others. The group of companies repeatedly established brands that had proven to be successful across national borders. The focus of the Rewe Group's business is traditionally in Europe.


Logo from ADEG

ADEG Handelsaktiengesellschaft is an Austrian trading company that belongs to Rewe International AG. The name ADEG is derived from the working group of purchasing cooperatives.

country Markets
AustriaAustria Austria 430


Logo from Billa

Billa is an Austrian food retail company based in Wiener Neudorf . It was founded in 1953 by Karl Wlaschek and in the following decades developed into the market leader in Austria and expanded internationally. In 1996, the Rewe Group took over the company together with its sister company Merkur. Today Billa is a subsidiary and a sales format of Rewe International. In recent years the brand has made an important contribution to the growth of the entire group of companies.

country Markets
AustriaAustria Austria 1,069
Czech RepublicCzech Republic Czech Republic 214
RussiaRussia Russia 151
SlovakiaSlovakia Slovakia 140
BulgariaBulgaria Bulgaria 130
UkraineUkraine Ukraine 29


Logo from Bipa

With around 600 branches, Bipa is one of the largest drugstore retailers in Austria. After Billa had developed into a flourishing company, Wlaschek founded the drugstore chain Bipa to better differentiate his business.

country Markets
AustriaAustria Austria 600


Logo of the DER Touristik Group

The DER Touristik Group has been bundling all of the Rewe Group's tourism businesses since 2013. Brands of the DER Touristik Group are for example ADAC Reisen, Dertour, Derpart, ITS Reisen , Jahn Reisen and Meiers Weltreisen . The history of the company group goes back to the German travel agency founded in Berlin in 1917 . Owned by the Rewe Group since 2000, the DER Touristik Group is now a largely independent group within the Rewe Group.


Merkur Markets Logo

Merkur Warenhandels AG was founded in 1969 by Karl Wlaschek and has been part of Rewe International AG since 1996. Merkur has 130 stores in Austria and employs around 9,500 people. Merkur is considered the Austrian market leader in the consumer market segment.

country Markets
AustriaAustria Austria 132


Penny Markets logo

Penny is an international discounter that has branches in Germany and six other European countries. The nucleus of the company is the Leibbrand Group's sales line, founded in 1973 , which has been part of the Rewe Group since 1989. At the end of the 2016 financial year, Penny had 2,148 branches in Germany, which have been extensively modernized in recent years.

country Markets
GermanyGermany Germany 2,150
Czech RepublicCzech Republic Czech Republic 380
ItalyItaly Italy 375
AustriaAustria Austria 300
RomaniaRomania Romania 235
HungaryHungary Hungary 220


Logo of the Rewe stores

With 3,300 branches, Rewe is one of the largest grocery retailers in Germany and a core brand of the Rewe Group. In contrast to Penny and other discounters, Rewe has a larger range and a larger proportion of branded articles. In addition to the classic branch network, Rewe is increasingly relying on e-commerce. The delivery service was started in 2011 and has been supplemented by the pick-up service for some time. Rewe stores are managed as REWE, REWE city, REWE to go or REWE Center, depending on their size.

country Markets
GermanyGermany Germany 3,300

Toom hardware store

Toom hardware store logo

The first hardware store under the name Toom was opened in 1978 in Frankfurt am Main. In 1997 the Rewe Group took over the Klee garden centers and merged them with Toom. With a hardware store in Wuppertal, Toom laid the foundation stone for the B1 discount brand in 1999.

country Markets
GermanyGermany Germany 330

close purchase

Logo of nahkauf

nahkauf is a brand of the REWE Group, under which smaller supermarkets are operated by its own shareholders. The aim is local supply.

country Markets
GermanyGermany Germany 420

Former sales lines

sky, TopKauf and Plaza

In the supermarkets Nord Vertriebs GmbH & Co. KG , with the brands: sky , sky-center , sky-XXL TopKauf and plaza , the REWE group held 55%, the coop eG 45% until the end of 2018. The operative business is operated by REWE Group, some of the properties belong to coop eG . By mid-2019, the brand identity was standardized by changing the flag of the stores to REWE and nahkauf . According to the food newspaper, REWE increased its stake in Supermarkets Nord GmbH to 65% at the turn of the year 2018/19. 35% remained with Coop eG for the time being. In June 2019, coop eG announced its withdrawal from the company and sold its remaining shares to the REWE Group. Since January 1, 2020, the former supermarkets Nord Vertriebs GmbH & Co. KG has been 100% integrated into the REWE Group.

HL-Markt, toom-markt and miniMal

The Leibbrand Group was a trading company from Bad Homburg. It was founded in 1961 by Willi Leibbrand and incorporated into the Rewe Group in 1989. The sales lines of the Leibrand Group HL-Markt, toom-markt, Otto Mess, Hill and miniMal were continued by the REWE Group as miniMal, HL-Markt or Rewe. In 2006 the Rewe Group announced a complete restructuring of the group and the sales lines. Since then, the supermarkets have been operating uniformly as REWE stores.

See also

Web links

Commons : Rewe Group  - Collection of Images

Individual evidence

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