In Berlin, the retail industry has been flourishing for years. As in the past ten years, sales have risen by about one third. Having said, Germany has the toughest competition in food retailing in Europe – and the lowest profit margins.
Nils Busch-Petersen, chief executive of the Berlin-Brandenburg trade association said that the city has a good, stable food retail network which is expandable to fulfill the needs of its growing inhabitants. Berlin grows by 40,000, to 50,000 inhabitants every year. The number of employees in Berlin is at an all-time high. Mass purchasing power is growing because many earing people come to the city and bring purchasing power along.
Over the past few years more than a dozen supermarkets were operational in Berlin. These were not always the discounter or the big chains. There were organic supermarkets as well, which were strongly represented in the region. Nils Busch-Petersen also said that the online food business, once it is up and running, will have a significant impact on the structure of the retail market. There will also be gaps with the traditional trade, and the online supermarkets. The online trade will be an important addition to the industry and will have a good share in the business.