Metro Romania CEO Adrian Ariciu had a very good 2021, as his company recorded an increase in turnover and made significant progress in all its business areas.
By Anda Sebesi
“As CEO, my priorities have been and will always be to build and invest in a strong team and establish long-lasting partnerships with our professional clients and partners.” This is what Adrian Ariciu, the CEO of Metro Romania, said at the beginning of our interview with him. Last year was very good for the company, as it managed to achieve several important goals. The retailer accelerated the expansion of the LaDoiPasi franchise, optimised its logistics processes, and developed digital solutions and a multichannel business model for its professional customers. This required an effort from the whole team, to keep the product range aligned with demand and ensure its availability at the highest quality standards.
“To stay on top of the ever-changing market, we started a major digitalization process, its main goal being to accelerate and develop digital solutions that respond to today’s requirements. This is an essential process for us and we have made substantial investments, and the results can be seen on all levels,” he says. Among the digital products launched by Metro Romania last year were DISH, a platform for hospitality businesses, and the METRO app, an alternative to the traditional card that clients use to access electronic invoices, see real time product availability and prices, and find the latest discounts and catalogues.
Ariciu says that the acceleration towards e-commerce that was imposed by the pandemic has forced the company to improve its existing services as well as develop new ones that meet today’s needs. “It is clear that digitalization and e-commerce will also dominate 2022, as they are essential strategic ways to improve consumer experience. However, these will only be able to evolve with optimised logistics. I am confident in the Romanian market’s potential and in the success of the wholesale model. It takes courage to consolidate a business model in a modern economic environment, but if the priority is the customer and if processes are designed to help and contribute to the success of their business, good results will follow.”
From a financial perspective, METRO Romania recorded an increase in turnover last year. “This growth was mainly based on the accelerated development of the LaDoiPasi franchise, the expansion of the logistics centre that provided us with optimal capacity to cope with the growing demand, as well as the company’s digital transformation, which contributed to the streamlining of internal processes.”
Asked about the challenges the local retail sector may face this year, Ariciu says that we’re witnessing an increase in food prices and that the cost of the average shopping cart is likely to rise further. In the production cost structure, we can already see an impact on logistics, transport, wage increases, auxiliary materials, packaging or non-food products. “The greatest challenge for the retail sector may come from potential consumption habit changes following a decline in consumers’ financial resources. Due to the price increases, consumers will look for the cheapest products in each category,” he explains.
This year, Metro Romania will focus on three growth pillars: developing an ecosystem of digital solutions for its professional hospitality clients and traders; accelerating its food service delivery process to better serve its professional multichannel customers without any gaps in supply and product quality; and expanding the LaDoiPasi franchise to 2,000 stores by 2023, maintaining its position as the market leader in franchised convenience stores.
Adrian Ariciu’s 3 business lessons of 2021
- Be more adaptable, react quickly to unpredictable situations, and be open-minded in tackling any problem and overcoming any obstacle.
- Digitalization is key to development.
- Be aware of the importance of the people around you.