Düsseldorf-based METRO GROUP and the British mobile phone specialist Carphone Warehouse are examining an extensive co-operation for the sale of mobile phone devices, contracts and services. Following a successful test phase at Media-Saturn in the Netherlands now also the 17 Dutch wholesale stores of METRO's subsidiary MAKRO Cash & Carry are testing common concepts with Carphone Warehouse. Opportunities for a co-operation are also being examined for the other METRO GROUP sales lines.
The goal of both companies is to offer their customers tailor-made solutions around the connected world. Besides smartphones and tablet PCs, these include contracts, accessories, services as well as installation and repair services and digital services, e.g. for music and video. In the Netherlands, Media-Saturn and Carphone Warehouse are already piloting "shop-in-shop" modules under the brands "Saturn Connect" and "Media Markt Mobile", as well as running a specialised, small-format "Saturn Connect" store. Joint solutions are also being tested in 17 locations of MAKRO Cash & Carry Netherlands.
"The connected world is a gigantic growth market and at the same time continues to rely heavily on personal sales advice”, said Pieter Haas, Member of the Management Board of METRO GROUP responsible for Media-Saturn and Business Innovation. "With Carphone Warehouse, we have found the perfect partner to pool our strengths in this important business segment. In future, we will be able to offer our customers the full range of products and services as well as best-in-class advice". Roger Taylor, CEO of Carphone Warehouse, added: "For us, the METRO GROUP sales lines are an ideal partner to jointly tap the sales potential of the mobile connected world and offer METRO GROUP's customers best-in-class service".
After the successful tests in the Netherlands, both companies have agreed to explore over the next few months the opportunities for a closer co-operation between Carphone Warehouse and Media-Saturn in the Netherlands, as well as with further METRO GROUP sales lines on the basis of different concepts, countries and sales channels.
METRO GROUP is one of the largest and most international retailing companies. In 2012 the Group reached sales of around €67 billion. The company has a headcount of more than 280,000 employees and operates around 2,200 stores in 32 countries. The Group's performance is based on the strength of its sales brands which operate independently in their respective market segment: METRO/MAKRO Cash & Carry – the international leader in self-service wholesale, Real hypermarkets, Media Markt and Saturn – European market leader in consumer electronics retailing, and Galeria Kaufhof department stores.
Carphone Warehouse is one of the largest independent telecommunications retailers in Europe, operating 2,377 stores in eight European countries as at 31 March 2013, principally under the Carphone Warehouse and Phone House brands, together with well-developed online propositions. CPW Europe specialises in mobile handsets, tablets and other connected devices, combining hardware with connections to service providers to create subsidised propositions. The business has highly-trained consultants who provide specialist and independent advice in areas of product and service complexity, and offers ongoing customer support beyond the point of sale, including a comprehensive range of insurance and technical support services.