Metro eyes online, international expansion -WiWo

Fri Jun 19, 2015 2:53am EDT
 
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FRANKFURT, June 19 (Reuters) - German retailer Metro AG will invest more in its online and international operations following the 2.8 billion-euro ($3.18 billion) sale of its Kaufhof department store chain, its chief executive said in a magazine interview.

Metro aims to open more of its Media Markt and Saturn discount electronics stores outside of Germany, Olaf Koch told business weekly WirtschaftsWoche.

"We plan an expansion of our investments in digital businesses, modernisation of older stores, more stores for Media Markt and Saturn as well as for Metro Cash & Carry, also in new countries," Koch told the magazine.

Koch's comments come after Canada's Hudson's Bay Co agreed to buy Germany's leading department store chain, Kaufhof, from Metro.

Metro's Real-branded stores are considering an online-based delivery service with partners such as Munich-based Tiramizoo, he said.

Hudson's Bay has said it aims to expand Kaufhof's e-commerce "aggressively" to take advantage of the role its stores can play as local distribution centres to beat online-only rivals, a strategy dubbed "omnichannel" shopping in retail jargon.

E-commerce is growing fast in Germany, which is Amazon's second-biggest market, but stores such as Kaufhof have been slower than their North American rivals to integrate online fully with their stores.

Metro, Europe's fourth-largest retailer, sold Kaufhof to focus on developing its cash-and-carry and consumer-electronics businesses and has sold off other businesses in recent years to reduce debt.

($1 = 0.8817 euros) (Reporting by Thomas Atkins; editing by Jason Neely)