Michel-Edouard Leclerc (on left) and Alain Caparros at the signing of the agreement.

French retailer E.Leclerc and the German REWE Group have decided to establish a strategic alliance expected to be effective in early 2016, announced by the CEOs of the two companies, Michel-Edouard Leclerc and Alain Caparros, in early June, 2015.

The two companies have agreed on cooperation in specific projects where joint teams of E.Leclerc and REWE Group will work on strategic topics such as the further development of the organic products segment, cooperation in the travel segment, in import, as well as in the areas of electric mobility and energy.

Just like all other competitors in European retail, REWE Group and E.Leclerc are facing major changes in the industry: new forms of trade, e-commerce, new customer requirements and the ongoing increase in complexity of sourcing that present far-reaching challenges, the two companies said.

“REWE Group and E.Leclerc are already successfully involved in areas such as sustainable development, energy saving, efficient logistics, the digital economy and optimised customer relationship management,” Leclerc and Rewe said.

The Management Boards of the two groups have exchanged their views on these subjects and discussed the options to develop common strategic directions and to leverage synergies, notably in the area of procurement of both companies, explained Leclerc and Caparros.

“In view of the major alliances that have been newly established in European retail, we have therefore come to the decision that we will jointly take advantage of every possibility to improve the growth opportunities of our two groups,” they said.

E.Leclerc and REWE Group have agreed on close cooperation that is focused on joint projects. The independence and autonomy of the two partners will remain unaffected by this cooperation.

In the context of the alliance, REWE Group and E.Leclerc will, among others, establish a joint purchasing company.

In connection with the comprehensive alliance with E.Leclerc, REWE Group is going to leave the Belgian CORE cooperative, to been completed by 31 December 31, 2015.

E.Leclerc operates 550 stores in France and 80 stores in five other European countries with a total turnover of 45 billion euros. The cooperative REWE Group is one of the leading trade and tourism groups in Germany and Europe. In 2014, the company generated a total external turnover exceeding 51 billion euros and operated 15,000 stores with 330,000 employees in 12 European countries.