The pandemic started quickly and unexpected and made 2020 a very challenging year. We had to adapt in a very short period of time and now we are facing a new normal in the retail sector, said Irinel Popescu, Retail Director of Metro Cash & Carry Romania, at Re:Focus on Ecommerce, Retail & Logistic 2021 event, organized by Business Review.
”Metro recorded a negative impact due to the effects of the pandemic in the HoReCa sector, which was severely affected by the restrictions. The players in this sector had to rethink their business and adapt to new market conditions”, says Irinel Popescu.
”But we also saw a positive evolution in relation to our partners from the trader area and the La Doi Pași franchise, relation that worked very well during the pandemic period and showed us that the segment of entrepreneurs in the retail area are very important. They managed to be very resilient during the pandemic,” explained Popescu.
Metro strategy has not changed, regardless of the crisis. ”Our goal is to provide support to independent businesses and local entrepreneurs. From this point of view, our approach has not changed. We continue to look for solutions for this period, solutions that support both business sectors: trade and HoReCa business. We remain on the multichannel growth line and we have three major areas in which to implement the strategy: the La Doi Pași franchise and its development, increasing delivery and logistics services and the digitalization, in which we invest a lot in this period, both for reseller customers and for HoReCa customers,” says Popescu.
”LaDoiPasi franchise had a very good evolution. We relaunched the concept of the franchise in 2017 and last year we opened 350 new stores, to a total of 1,400 stores today. This is the pace of openings for the last three years and we want to keep it in the future. Our ambition is to reach 2,000 stores by the end of 2023. In 2021 we hope to reach over 1,600 stores, but the important thing is that we focus on the quality area together with our partners. For us it is more than a number of stores, it means that we are close to the local communities. We will come up with new developments on the franchise side every year, both for B2B and B2C. The model forces us to do this; we have 1,400 partners looking for development solutions and we have to deliver,” says Metro representative.
The franchise was built to support reseller partners, who we know have increasingly fierce competition in the area of modern trade. ”We, at Metro, support independent businesses by expanding franchises, through the delivery side, where we have a new platform for B2B commerce that they can access. We also invest in the area of digital connection with all partners; we recently launched a digital integration of invoices between Metro and stores,” explains Popescu.
”We constantly offer know-how and support both in the Horeca area and in the reseller area, through the teams of consultants we have and are at their disposal.”