In February, METRO GROUP began promoting innovative start-ups together with the US-based company Techstars, one of the most internationally renowned start-up networks. The newly launched “Techstars METRO Accelerator” development programme is geared towards entrepreneurs with innovative digital applications for the restaurants, hotels and catering sector. Techstars METRO Accelerator is the first in the world to focus on technological applications for restaurants and hotels, a core group of Metro Cash & Carry.

In August, the METRO GROUP acquired the company Classic Fine Foods (CFF), a leading direct food service distributor (FSD) with customers in the hotels, restaurants and catering sector with foods. By acquiring CFF, Metro Cash & Carry gains access to the premium FSD market in fast-growing Asian megacities and in the Middle East.

In September, the METRO GROUP parted ways with the Galeria Kaufhof department store chain for EUR 2.8 billion. The new owner is the Canadian Hudson’s Bay Company (HBC), one of North America’s leading retailers and oldest companies. The agreement between the METRO GROUP and HBC set out broad requirements with respect to saving jobs and keeping stores open. The sale of Galeria Kaufhof represents the successful continuation of efforts by the METRO GROUP to optimise its portfolio and carry out its strategic realignment.

In December, the METRO GROUP completed the sale of its Cash & Carry wholesale business in Vietnam to Thailand-based TCC.