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Retailers, consumers and prices

Metro CEO links chiefs to Bayern’s deadly duo

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- Bayern Munich's deadly duo: Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery Bayern Munich’s deadly duo: Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery

Eckhard Cordes likes football. The chief executive of the

world’s third largest retailer Metro likes German Bundesliga

club Bayern Munich, to be more precise. And he likes giving

examples. “I tend to give examples, sometimes silly

examples,” he admitted at the company’s annual news conference

on Wednesday in Duesseldorf, Germany.

 

So when he was asked to explain a new structure at Metro’s Cash

& Carry business — which some analysts had seen as a demotion

of the unit’s head Frans Muller, who has to give some of his

responsibilities to Joel Saveuse — he made use of his passion.

 

    “I’m a fan of Bayern Munich,” he began and went on to say

what a fantastic job Dutchman Arjen Robben had done recently in

the absence of Bayern’s playmaker Franck Ribery. The Frenchman

returned to action in January after three months out due to

injury. “Now, Ribery is back. But just because Ribery is back

doesn’t mean that Robben will now all of the sudden play less

well,” Cordes said.

 

    “And at Metro, it’s the same: Our Arjen is called Frans and

Franck is Joel. That’s the truth. You will see a management team

as solid as a rock.”

 

    Even Muller had to smile at the comparison to Bayern

Munich’s deadly duo.

It’s deja vu at Arcandor, but this time the lifeline slipped

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arcandor-ceoIt’s deja vu at Arcandor. Five years ago, the company was still called KarstadtQuelle and it was on the brink of insolvency. It took a dramatic last-minute rescue to save the company. Today, it finally filed for insolvency.

In 2004, the company said part of the problem was that there were not enough customers at its department stores, or at least those that were there were not spending enough. And consumers were not ordering enough goods from its hefty mail-order catalogs, Quelle and Neckermann.

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