Valora is a focused, leading convenience provider

2016 – transformation process successfully completed – strategy geared towards growth.

2016 – transformation process successfully completed – strategy geared towards growth.

With the sale of Naville Distribution and the sale of the Naville property in Geneva, Valora was able to successfully conclude the transformation of the Group into a focused convenience and food service provider. The focus also fell on the further optimisation of the network of sales outlets in Switzerland and Germany and the expansion of the Ditsch/Brezelkönig retail formats.
At the same time, the integrated value chain was strengthened with the own brands ok.– in Germany and Caffè Spettacolo in Switzerland and Germany as well as the increasing use of Ditsch bakery products in the own convenience stores. We also pushed ahead with the expansion of production capacities for pretzel and bakery products for third-party customers.
The selection of food and beverages on offer was also expanded across the entire kiosk and convenience business. For example, around 100 sales outlets in Switzerland were equipped with Starbucks coffee machines and approximately 650 with Caffè Spettacolo machines.
At the same time, various new digital offers were launched, including the Caffè Spettacolo app that allows customers to place orders while on the move and to pay via the app, the scan&go pilot project aimed at increasing transaction speeds during rush hour periods, and the establishment of a Retail Analytics team. The objective is to tailor new offers better to customer needs with simple and practical digital solutions and to increasingly position Valora as a service partner.

These numerous initiatives lay a good foundation for our medium- to long-term growth plans. The strategy provides a clear focus:
growth and expansion, efficiency, a performance-driven culture and innovation.

2015 – Focus and efficiency

2015 – Focus and efficiency

2015 saw Valora reach a number of key strategic milestones resulting in an increase in overall efficiency across the Group.

The sale of the Trade division and the outsourcing of Swiss goods logistics operations were the final major steps concluding the implementation of Valora’s strategy of focusing on its core business. The Group’s activities are now clearly directed towards convenience and food service with a notable emphasis on pretzel product manufacturing. Thanks to the Naville acquisition, Valora also succeeded in further expanding the already substantial outlet network it operates in Switzerland. As the Naville business was integrated into Valora’s existing Swiss operations, it was also possible to raise efficiency levels across all core business functions at Retail Switzerland and to enhance the effectiveness of Group management structures.

At Retail Germany, the organisation was successfully strengthened, thus creating the basis for future growth. 2015 also saw the establishment of Valora’s fintech subsidiary, bob finance AG. This company is part of the newly created Valora Lab, whose mission is to create new digital products and services – such as the new Spettacolo coffee app.

2014 – Undergoing an in-depth transformation

2014 – Undergoing an in-depth transformation

Valora is undergoing an in-depth transformation, with the aim of becoming a pure micro-retailer.

Over the last year, Valora has sold its press wholesale operations and the Valora Trade division was recently classified as a disposal group. These mark two key milestones in the transformation. The acquisition of small-space retailer Naville in Western Switzerland also represents a further step in this process; the network of outlets is now even bigger and covers all of Switzerland. This presents Valora with a number of exciting new opportunities.



2013 saw Valora implement a number of important strategic initiatives which will strengthen the Group. The focus on Valora's core small-outlet retail business continued, with transformation of the Swiss kiosk network progressing apace. The 111 sites which were either newly built or re-designed during 2013 performed well. A key attribute of these transformed outlets is their clear emphasis on food and beverages for immediate consumption. The Ditsch/Brezelkönig business continued its successful expansion and enjoys excellent prospects for future growth.

At Valora Services, key decisions were taken to pave the way for handing over control of the business. The division also expanded its logistics services. Valora Trade began to reap its first rewards from the initiatives taken to improve its profitability.

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

2012 – Having successfully concluded a number of major acquisitions

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

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

2010 was the decisive year for the «Valora 4 Success» fundamental strategy programme

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

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 – Valora employed an average of 6 495 staff on a full-time equivalent basis

2008 – 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.

2007/2006 – 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.

2004 – Business restructured and focused on core activities

Kiosk and press wholesaling expanded, initially to Germany, then Luxembourg and Austria.

2000/1999 – Press distribution strengthened

Valora acquires Melisa in Italianspeaking Switzerland, expanding its press distribution activities.

Fotolabo purchased: Valora acquires Europe’s leading mail order film developer.

Caffè Spettacolo launched.

2000 / 1999 - Caffè Spettacolo launched.
1997 – Activities are streamlined

Divisions cut from 5 to 3 - Kiosk, Alimarca and Slumberland. Selecta sold.

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

1985 - Merkur acquires the Selecta Group

Merkur acquires the Selecta Group, whose activities attain a European dimension over the next 4 years, with operations established in Germany, Sweden and France.

1934 - Founding of Kiosk AG.
1934 – Kiosk AG

Founding of Kiosk AG.

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.