The ServiceStore DB outlets have now been part of Valora Retail Germany for one year. As a result, on April 16 and 17, Germany's largest micro-retailer was able to host its first nationwide franchisees' conference. The event, held in Hamburg under the title “Shaping the future together”, was attended by some 90 participants, who had come to find out more about future plans for the concept's development, the new products that will be offered to customers and the synergies between ServiceStore DB and the rest of Valora.
When two strong partners join forces, their new relationship generates plenty of new inspiration. That is what has been happening in the case of Valora Retail and DB Station&Service AG, who have been working jointly on the development of a new concept for the ServiceStore DB format since April 2012. Valora Retail's role is that of master franchisee, supporting the firm's individual franchisees throughout Germany. The ServiceStore DB franchise network encompasses more than 60 independent entrepreneurs, many of whom attended the franchise partners' conference held in Hamburg at the beginning of this week, the first such event to be hosted by Valora Retail.
The focus of the meeting was on integration. As the conference title „Shaping the future together“ implies, the key topic was the further development of the DB ServiceStore format concept, whose initial results will be on show later this year at a pilot site. „Since the Valora acquisition we have already put a number of changes into effect. Working in conjunction with ServiceStore DB system managers and with our franchisees, we intend to continue along this successful trajectory“, says Roger Knill, head of the Convenience business unit at Valora Retail Germany. „The important thing for us is to engage in direct dialogue with our franchise partners. We are still in the process of becoming better acquainted with each other, so mutual understanding and trust is particularly important – as of course is each party's willingness to speak freely.“
Presentations on specialist topics such as product-range and sales strategy, product presentation and industry trends were well received by the franchisees attending the meeting. As Torsten Mike Hübner, who operates stores at Berlin Nordbahnhof, Landsberger Allee and Anhalter Bahnhof, put it, „I was particularly pleased that industry experts came to share with us at first hand their insights into trends and developments in the convenience-store sector.“ Other participants appreciated the opportunity of exchanging ideas and experiences with franchisees from all over Germany.
On the second day of the conference, suppliers and brand manufacturers such as Langnese, Red Bull, Reemtsma, Wrigleys, Danone Waters and Bitburger presented new product developments in the fields of tobacco, beverages and food. Valora Retail was also represented – presenting its ok.- private-label range – as was the Ditsch lye-bread bakery, the most recent addition to the family of the Valora brands. A ceremony was held in the evening to honour the achievements of the franchisees operating the three most successful ServiceStore DB outlets, each of whom was presented with a ServiceStore DB Award.