Half a century of METRO Cash & Carry: since the company's establishment in 1964, we have been a driving force in the self-service wholesale business. Here, you can trace the milestones of our history and read insightful interviews with some of the people who have played a major role in our success.

Interviews with witnesses to history

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Looking ahead: innovation and sustainability


Portrait of Ewin Trinkl
"No one's assortment was as broad as ours"

Interview with Erwin Trinkl, Representative of METRO AG in Russia, about the market entry of METRO Cash & Carry in Russia.

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Dancing Employees in Wild Movie
50 years of METRO Cash & Carry

With customers, employees and suppliers, METRO Cash & Carry is celebrating its 50th anniversary in business at all its locations. The anniversary will also serve as an opportunity to re-position the METRO brand.

Complete success: the delivery service

The delivery service is one of the most important success stories in the ongoing refinement of the sales concept. The company generates sales of more than €2 billion a year with this service.

Outside View of Metro Store China
750th location

METRO Cash & Carry opened its 750th store worldwide in the southwestern Chinese city of Chongqing.

Customer in Front of the Metro Logo
Leading player in the cash & carry segment

With annual sales of €31.6 billion and 743 locations in 29 countries, METRO Cash & Carry has further strengthened its position of the leading international self-service wholesaler. In the same year, METRO Cash & Carry sells its MAKRO wholesale operations in the UK.

Opening Ceremony in Turkey
700 stores and launch of e-commerce

METRO Cash & Carry celebrated the opening of its 700th store, located in Istanbul. The company began to sell selected products online in some countries.

Employees Odido Poland
New programme

METRO Cash & Carry launched its innovative Trader Franchise Programme in Poland and later rolled out the concept to Romania, Bulgaria and Serbia. Also new, the Trader Support & Partnership Programme supports independent food retailers through such initiatives as seminars and training.

New innovative store format

METRO Cash & Carry proved its power to innovate with a new format: the City Centre Store in Paris is geared towards Horeca customers. During the same year, METRO Cash & Carry opened its first wholesale store in Egypt.

Horeca Assortment
Own brands

Additional new concepts included six own brands that the company uses to systematically focus on its target groups.

Employee in front of a Delivery Truck
Right to the front door: the delivery service

The business model was further expanded this year. In Germany, METRO Cash & Carry first tested the delivery service, which is now offered in 29 countries.

The first store was opened in Kazakhstan.

New countries included: Pakistan

METRO Cash & Carry opened its first store in the business metropolis Lahore.

METRO Cash & Carry Denmark made its mark

With the opening of a new store in Aalborg, the company set new environmental and energy-saving standards by using innovative technologies.

METRO Cash & Carry opened its first store in Serbia.

Logo 40 Years Metro
Bottom line: 40 years of METRO Cash & Carry

Forty years after the founding of METRO Cash & Carry, the company had become a leading international self-service wholesaler with more than 500 wholesale stores in 27 countries, including Moldova since 2004.

Distributor Training India
Expansion in Asia continued

METRO Cash & Carry also continued to expand outside Europe: in 2002, in Japan and Vietnam, and in 2003 in India. In addition, the company opened its first wholesale store in Ukraine. METRO Cash & Carry India and METRO Cash & Carry Vietnam supported suppliers and employees with special regional development programmes like farmers' training.

Customer in Russia
New in the country portfolio: Russia

The huge distances in Russia posed new logistics tasks for the company: Shipping goods through the Russian plains and mountains can take up to six days. Nevertheless, the METRO brand soon succeeds in the boosting Russian economy. The self-service wholesaler also began to do business in Croatia.

Additional stores in Eastern Europe (III)

Three new stores were opened in Slovakia right at the turn of the new century.


Tapping new markets


Portrait of Gerd Becker
"The better results are what count in the end"

Interview with Gerd Becker, the former General Manager of METRO GROUP, about the expansion of METRO Cash & Carry in Asia.

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"Top secret"

Interview with Harald Sachs, who played the role of tax consultant as the merger of METRO Cash & Carry, Kaufhof, Asko and Deutsche SB-Kauf was planned and carried out.

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Additional stores in Eastern Europe (II)

The expansion in Eastern Europe continued: METRO Cash & Carry opened its first store in Bulgaria, becoming the largest trader of fish and shellfish in the region.

Advertisement Makro Czech in 1990s
Additional stores in Eastern Europe (I)

METRO Cash & Carry expanded its business in Romania in 1996 and in the Czech Republic in 1997. Also in 1997, METRO Cash & Carry bought out the European MAKRO operations from Dutch SHV.

Schaper Market Outside
C+C SCHAPER became a part of METRO Cash & Carry

The Asko-Gruppe, which has owned C+C SCHAPER since 1987/1988, joined METRO GROUP. C+C Schaper does business exclusively in Germany.

Customer and Employee at Metro China in 1990s
Major move to Asia

As the first international wholesaler in China, METRO received permission to expand throughout the country. Working with the Joint Venture partner Jinjiang Group, METRO opened its first store in Shanghai. Today, METRO Cash & Carry has 3.8 million customers in 75 stores across the country.

Metro Poland in 1990s
Start of expansion in the east

After the Iron Curtain fell, a new growth market emerged for METRO Cash & Carry. The company launched its expansion in Eastern Europe with the opening of new wholesale stores in Poland and Hungary.

Store opening in Greece

By entering the Greek market, METRO Cash & Carry was now doing business in nearly all European Community (EC) member states.

The move towards Africa

In the early 1990s, METRO Cash & Carry opened its first wholesale store in Morocco. The company exited the Moroccan market in 2010.

Skyline Istanbul
Further expansion in the Mediterranean region

At the beginning of the1990s, METRO Cash & Carry expanded its portfolio of locations in the Mediterranean region, opening stores in Portugal and Turkey: As one of the first German companies in Turkey, METRO Cash & Carry received certification for food standards.


The mechanic of international business


The cash & carry business idea


Portrait of Friedrich Neukirch
Seeing and seizing opportunities

An interview with the METRO witness to history Friedrich Neukirch,CEO of the Klosterfrau Healthcare Group.

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Portrait of Emil Underberg
A man of his word

Interview with Emil Underberg, producer of the legendary herbal digestive, about the relationship with METRO Cash & Carry in the 1960ies.

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Customer in 1960s
Rapid Progress

The revolutionary cash-and-carry concept proved to be a hit among professional customers. Within just a few years, other wholesale stores were opened in Berlin (1966), Cologne-Godorf, Hamburg, Munich and Düsseldorf (1967). METRO's direct-mail system was revolutionary for that time: Customers received weekly advertising materials that were personally addressed to them.

Metro Netherlands in 1960s
Start of international expansion

METRO Cash & Carry concluded an agreement with the Dutch company Steenkolen Handelsvereeniging and opened the first store outside Germany in the Netherlands under the brand name MAKRO.

First Market in Muelheim in 1960s
The start of a success story

The METRO Cash & Carry (MCC) company was established in 1964. In that year, the first full scale METRO Cash & Carry wholesale store opened in Mülheim an der Ruhr with selling space of 14,000 square metres. That was a new dimension in food and non-food wholesale. The MCC company was founded by the two brothers Wilhelm Schmidt-Ruthenbeck and Erwin Schmidt as well as the Schell family, owner of a wholesale company for electrical appliances. Soon, Otto Beisheim was nominated as the managing director of METRO-SB-Großmärkte GmbH & Co. KG.