Gilles Roudy, MD of METRO C&C Romania: „We are open to partnerships with local producers and encourage local producers to become our long term partners”

On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of METRO Cash & Carry, Gilles Roudy, the new Managing Director of METRO Cash & Carry Romania, was kind enough to answer, exclusively, to several questions regarding this round figure, plans and programs strategic policy for METRO Cash & Carry Romania, in 2014.

Gilles Roudy (2) What does METRO 50 years’ anniversary bring new to the company?

Gilles Roudy, Managing Director of METRO Cash & Carry Romania: „The 50th anniversary of METRO Cash & Carry is an important milestone for us, but also for the international retail market, as in 1964, we introduced a unique format of commerce. At that time, the cash & carry format addressed professional customers’ business needs to buy products and then pick them from the same place.

METRO 50 Years Anniversary brings a new brand promise, under the message “YOU & METRO”, that acknowledges all past and present efforts to become entrepreneurs’ best Partner in the development of their businesses. Probably more than in any type of commerce business, cash & carry segment is a segment based on professional relations and trust. This is why the new positioning actually continues METRO Cash & Carry’s initiatives of getting closer to the customers for the last 50 years. We would also like to emphasize our constant attention to independent businesses in Romania, be it start-ups, developing or mature businesses in need of consolidation.

We have set ourselves the challenge of expanding on the success we have achieved in many parts of the business, not just maintaining it. And we also intend to make the most of all the positives that can already be found throughout METRO Cash & Carry.

Our new positioning conveys the essence of our relations with our customers with whom we share our knowledge and expertise gathered in 50 years of operations on international markets. Thus, we contribute to and support the development of independent businesses, one of our main points of differentiation.” What kind of anniversary activities have you planned for 2014?

GR: „Our anniversary year is dedicated to all independent businesses in the 29 countries we activate in. In Romania, we have planned a social responsibility campaign that rewards and empowers entrepreneurs that contribute to the well-being of their community.

Additional, we have prepared promotional campaigns throughout the year, in order to offer our customers competitive advantages.

Moreover, we have implemented a system in order to offer support to our METRO customers through our service advisors and offer them specialized consultancy.”

All actions have in the center of our attention independent businesses, our main partners to our successful journey over the first 50 years of METRO Cash & Carry existence. What are METRO Cash & Carry Romania’s strategic plans in 2014? Are you planning on changing the existing strategy or are you working on consolidating ongoing programs?

GR: „In 2014 we will continue to consolidate the programs we have initiated in the former years, programs that have proven to be very successful: LaDoiPasi program, METRO Magazin Online – our e-commerce platform, De-ale noastre platform in support of local producers, HoReCa Support&Partnership – consultancy platform for hospitality customers and its main component, the Gastronomy Competence Center.” What are METRO Cash & Carry Romania’s strategic programs?

GR: „As a long time growing strategy, we plan on consolidating programs designed to respond to our partners’ needs and link our development to their success. We are talking about programs that come in support of traditional traders (LaDoiPasi franchise) or of local producers (De-ale noastre program), or aim at improving our customers’ shopping experience (METRO Magazin Online) or at offering 360 consultancy to our HoReCa customers (HoReCa Support&Partnership and Gastronomy Competence Center, the most performant culinary center in Romania). We have invested passion, resources, confidence in these programs and in their implementation and plan on continuing these efforts to consolidate them.” Do you plan on redesigning METRO Cash & Carry Stores?

GR: „Our development strategy includes a constant adaptation of our assortment, layout and approach, based on our customers’ needs, international trends, local market development.” How many LaDoiPasi stores do you estimate to exist in the franchise by the end of 2014?

GR: „We will continue to extend “LaDoiPasi” franchise, as we are the first company in the Romanian market who supported/ implemented such a program which offers entrepreneurs the opportunity to be part of a national network and thus benefit from the expertise of a worldwide leading retailer. More, LaDoiPasi has managed to have a national reach, with stores in every county of Romania. The franchise system is very dynamic: stores are being launched, new and existing customers are getting approached and/ or consultancy trainings (one of LaDoiPasi main benefits) are being held in the same time. At this moment, the franchise consists of over 700 LaDoiPasi proximity stores, but these figures can change from day to day.” Are you planning on further developing “De-ale noastre”, your program in support of local producers?

GR: „Yes, we will continue to develop “De-ale noastre”, a strategic program designed with a double purpose: to answer consumers’ demand (the clients of our customers) for fresh, tasty and locally grown vegetables with traceability and to address the most stringent needs of local producers. In 2014, we are planning on extending the program to a larger assortment of vegetables and fruits and to a larger geographical area.” Is METRO CCR’s offer centralized or are you collaborating with local suppliers?

GR: „We have a successful collaboration with local suppliers through programs such as “De-ale noastre”, in support of local producers, through the production of our own brands. Furthermore, we have always been open to adding local products on our shelves, by respecting all HACCP procedures and rules in this regard.

Moreover, every geographical area has specific, local products, as a result of our successful collaboration with local suppliers.” What is the percentage of Romanian products, present on METRO Cash & Carry Romania shelves?

GR: „Ever since it has entered the local market, in 1996, METRO Cash & Carry Romania has been a proud supporter of local economy through different actions. We are open to partnerships with local producers and encourage local producers to become our long term partners. Do you collaborate with local producers for METRO CCR own brands?

GR: „With its own brand strategy, METRO Romania is focusing even more on the special needs of our core customers, such as hotels and restaurants, traders and offices. METRO’s professional knowledge and understanding of their business has helped to develop a high quality, user-friendly and tailor-made product range. Combined with a very competitive pricing, METRO Romania’s own brand assortment has significantly helped our professional customers to boost their own business.

METRO Cash & Carry’s own brand strategy features a portfolio of 6 exclusive brands, ensuring a clear structure and proper understanding among the respective target groups. The own brands have been developed in close collaboration with the customers, who indicated their specific needs in terms of quality, performance, packaging and price.

In the development of METRO CCR own brands, we have managed to reach an impressive percentage of Romanian ingredients and products. At the moment, more than 50% of our own brands are provided by the local producers (in food articles).” What new products/ category of products have you added to METRO Magazin Online offer?

GR: „METRO Magazin Online addresses a very specific target – business to business customers working in small to medium companies and institutions (30-60 employees). In this respect, a specialized offer is required, that best fit their needs. Therefore, an offer of more than 6,000 products could cover their needs for day to day activities. This offer consists of office supplies, electrical and electronics, cleaning & maintenance products, products for protocol and flowers. Up to now, METRO Magazin Online has 42.000 registered customers.”

Gilles Roudy, who took over the position of Managing Director METRO Cash & Carry Romania on December 1, 2013, was Director Commercial Real International since 2009. Prior to joining real, Gilles Roudy worked at Carrefour for 30 years in various managerial positions such as CEO of Carrefour Turkey, Belgium, Poland and the European business region, including Romania.

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