The history of the Metro began on 8 November 1963 in Essen with the opening of the first wholesale center under the name Metro by the brothers Ernst Schmidt and Wilhelm Schmidt-Ruthenbeck. Planning and opening of the first hypermarket under the name Metro in Essen was the responsibility of Walter Vieth, who was managing director there from 1963 to 1970.
In 1964, a year after the opening of the first Metro store, the Stöcker & Reinshagen company planned a cash and carry store in Mülheim an der Ruhr. During the construction phase, the businessmens Schmidt-Ruthenbeck, Schmidt and Schell met and decided to merge their cash and carry activities. So they founded Metro-SB-Großmarkt GmbH & Co. KG with headquarters in Mülheim, later in Düsseldorf. Otto Beisheim, until 1964 authorized signatory of the company Stöcker & Reinshagen, became the sole managing director."Metro revolutionierte vor 50 Jahren den Einzelhandel". Der Westen . 26 October 2014. Retrieved 15 April 2021. In 1966, the third Metro was opened in West Berlin.
In 1966, Otto Beisheim met Friedrich Wilhelm Lenz, Chairman of the Management Board of Franz Haniel & Cie. and was able to convince him into investing in Metro. In the course of the following reorganization Beisheim became a shareholder himself. From this point on, the founding family Schmidt-Ruthenbeck and the shareholders Beisheim and Haniel each held about one third of the shares.Under the sole leadership of Otto Beisheim, a rapid and very successful expansion of the Metro stores into the greater German and European area began in 1967 with the opening of the Metro stores in Godorf near Cologne, Hamburg, Munich and, after a connection with the Dutch company SHV Holdings, the first C&C wholesale store in the Netherlands, and in 1968 in Düsseldorf.In 1980, Metro took over 24.9 percent of Kaufhof.
In March 1996, Metro AG was formed by the merger of Metro Cash & Carry with Kaufhof Holding AG, Deutsche SB-Kauf AG , and Asko Deutsche Kaufhaus AG . The group also included the Huma shopping centers, the sports retail stores Primus Sportwelt, MHB Handel AG and the office supplies and stationery manufacturer Pelikan, as well as Media-Saturn, the consumer electronics business of Media Markt and Saturn. The share of Metro AG was founded retrospectively on January 1 and listed on 22 July 1996 on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange and was part of the DAX until 2012.
In 1998, the computer retailers Vobis and Maxdata, the Adler fashion stores and Reno's shoe retailers, the discounter TiP, Möbel Roller and unprofitable Kaufhof branches were brought into the subsidiary Divaco, which was founded together with Deutsche Bank and the Gerling Group, in order to attract new buyers. In December 2003, Metro separated from its stake in Divaco KG and sold its shares to the sole shareholder and CEO, Siegfried Kaske, for 1 euro. In 2004, Metro bought Adler fashion stores back from Divaco.
Also in 1998, the 94 Allkauf -S department stores were bought, as was Allkauf Touristik Vertriebs GmbH with 160 travel agencies, which were sold again by Metro.
In 2005, Metro split off the Praktiker home improvement division, which went public as an independent company.In July 2006 Metro bought the 85 German stores of Wal-Mart, which gave up its loss-making Germany business. The Wal-Mart stores were largely integrated into the Real sales brand.In July 2008, the Extra supermarket chain with around 250 locations and sales of around 1.6 billion euro, was sold to the Rewe Group. Metro sold the Adler fashion stores to the associated company BluO in February 2009.In October 2012, Makro-Habib in Pakistan became Metro-Habib.In November 2012, Metro sold its 91 Real hypermarkets in Poland, Romania, Russia and Ukraine to Auchan for 1.1 billion euro.In 2014 Metro sold the 12 hypermarkets in Turkey.In 2017 Metro sold the last remaining four hypermarkets in Romania.On 15 June 2015, Metro AG agreed to sell Galeria Kaufhof to Canadian retail conglomerate Hudson's Bay Company for $3.2 billion.On 30 March 2016, Metro Group announced that it will be splitting into two independent companies: A spin-off of the wholesale and food sector of Metro AG will be responsible for the group divisions into two independent and publicly listed companies. Both will have their own management, supervisory board and independent company profiles. Metro AG was renamed Ceconomy, comprising Media Markt and Saturn electronics stores, while a new company with the name Metro AG was formed, comprising Metro Cash & Carry and Real.
In September 2018, Metro announced that it wanted to sell the Real hypermarket subsidiary in Germany to focus entirely on wholesale business. In February 2020, Real was sold to the German-Russian consortium of X-Bricks and SCP Group. The deal was completed in June 2020.
Mr. Claude Sarrailh (Chief Customer & Merchandise Officer and Member of Management Board)
Ms. Christiane Giesen (Chief HR Officer, Labour Director & Member of Management Board)
Mr. Timo Salzsieder (Chief Information Officer)
Ms. Sabrina Ley (Director of Investor Relations)
Mr. Gerd Koslowski (Global Director of Corp. Communications)
Ms. Veronika Pountcheva (Sr. VP & Global Director of Corp. Responsibility)
Mr. Matthias Buehler (Global Lead Digital Marketing)
Recognition and Awards
Dr. Steffen Greubel (CEO, Chairman of Management Board & Ad Interim Labour Director)
Mr. Christian Baier (CFO & Member of the Management Board)
Mr. Rafael Gasset (COO & Member of the Management Board)