Valora is an economically robust, independent trading company operating on a Europe-wide scale
2012 - Having successfully concluded a number of major acquisitions, the Group is now focusing on its core areas of expertise through the implementation of its «Valora for a fast moving world» strategy programme
Valora’s acquisition of the Lekkerland subsidiary Convenience Concept in January 2012, with its network of 1,300 retail outlets in Germany, was a major milestone for the Group. In early 2012, Valora also purchased the outlet network operated by Schmelzer-Bettenhausen, Austria’s largest railway-station bookseller, thus establishing a retail presence for the Group in the Austrian market. In the autumn of 2012, Valora acquired the Ditsch/Brezelkönig group of companies, further expanding its portfolio of retail formats. Ditsch/Brezelkönig’s clearly focused product range, and the additional outlet sites it has added to Group’s network, ideally complement Valora’s existing retail formats in Germany and Austria.
These initiatives have enabled Valora further to enhance its leading position in Europe’s German-speaking markets, establishing the Group as a substantial retailer with more than 3,000 outlets in four countries. The «Valora 4 Growth» strategy programme has now been successfully concluded. In the years ahead, the primary objective of the «Valora for a fast moving world» programme will be to achieve a sustained increase in profitability by focusing on Valora’s core areas of retail expertise and fully realising the Group’s outstanding potential.
2011 - Valora 4 Growth strategy pursued consistently
Transformation of the German tabacon outlets acquired in 2010 to the k kiosk format continued apace and the number of k kiosk units in Switzerland adopting the agency business model also grew rapidly. By acquiring the cosmetics distributors EMH in Norway and ScanCo in Sweden, Valora Trade was able to add two attractive companies to its portfolio and expand its range to include cosmetics as a new product category. In addition, the division’s purchase of niche distributor Salty Snacks Delicatessen in Germany enabled it to expand into the profitable savoury baked goods category.
2010 - 2010 was the decisive year for the «Valora 4 Success» fundamental strategy programme, which the Group initiated in 2008 for scheduled completion in 2012
A number of major milestones were reached and some 80 percent of the objectives the programme set out to achieve have now been accomplished. The Group’s «Valora 4 Growth» strategy was unveiled in November 2010. It is based on organic margin and revenue growth in all areas and on acquisition-led expansion at Retail/Services and Trade.
2009 - Valora 4 Success Valora is implementing its «Valora 4 Success» strategy programme
We are pursuing four core initiatives: focusing on our core businesses; generating growth from convenience stores; raising efficiency levels; and strengthening our corporate culture.
2008 - In 2007, Valora employed an average of 6 495 staff on a full-time equivalent basis
The Group operates 1 404 retail outlets of its own in 3 European countries and supplies some 60 000 wholesale customers in 10 countries.
2006/2007 - Restructuring of Kiosk business in Switzerland, Fotolabo activities sold
Business model based on 3 core activities:
- small - outlet retail
- press & book wholesale
- distribution of branded goods
2004 - Business restructured and focused on core activities
Increasing complexity of Group structures prompts Valora to dispose of business areas which are no longer core activities - including the traditional Merkur coffee and specialty store businesses.
New k kiosk styling introduced.
2001 - Mattress business sold, expansion
Kiosk and press wholesaling expanded, initially to Germany, then Luxembourg and Austria.
1999/2000 - Press distribution strengthened
Valora acquires Melisa in Italianspeaking Switzerland, expanding its press distribution activities.
Valora acquires Europe’s leading mail order film developer.
Caffè Spettacolo launched.
1997 - Activities are streamlined
Divisions cut from 5 to 3 - Kiosk, Alimarca and Slumberland.
1996 - New name
On July 1, 1996, Merkur Holding AG becomes Valora Holding AG. Diversification strategy aims to reduce overall exposure to market volatility and reduce risk borne by investors. Companies with weak profitability replaced with higher margin firms.
1991 - Entry into consumer goods business
The Swiss firm Allimarca AG is acquired, with further trading company purchases thereafter. Acquisition of the Consiva group in 2001 makes Valora Europe’s leading distributor of fast moving consumer goods.
1990 - Entry into kiosk and press wholesaling markets
The Group acquires both Schmidt Agence and Kiosk AG, whose combined Swiss outlets number 1 500.
1988 - Non-food activities commence
Merkur acquires Bico, Switzerland’s leading mattress manufacturer.
1985 - Merkur’s growth phase
Merkur acquires the Selecta Group, whose activities attain a European dimension over the next 4 years, with operations established in Germany, Sweden and France.
1920 - Diversification
Numerous acquisitions in and outside Switzerland transform the face of the Group over subsequent decades.
1906-1919 - Rapid early development
Merkur AG expands it network to 130 outlets and acquires «Schweizerische Kafferöstereien», a coffee roasting company.
1905 - Foundation
A group of innovative entrepreneurs in Olten establish the «Schweizer Chocoladen & Colonialhaus», the parent company of Merkur AG and the precursor of today’s Valora.