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No Evidence of Illegal Cost Cuts by Wal-Mart in Germany

Sales & Trends

BERLIN, Germany (10 July 2000) — Germany’s cartel office has announced that it has yet to find any evidence that the US retailer Wal-Mart is illegally cutting costs in Germany. Wal-Mart’s arrival on the German retail scene has triggered a price war, leading the German cartel office to include in their investigation four other major […]

BERLIN, Germany (10 July 2000) — Germany’s cartel office has announced that it has yet to find any evidence that the US retailer Wal-Mart is illegally cutting costs in Germany. Wal-Mart’s arrival on the German retail scene has triggered a price war, leading the German cartel office to include in their investigation four other major grocery chains: Aldi, Lidl, Plus and Norma. It is against Germany cartel law to consistently sell goods below cost price. The law is meant to protect Germany’s smaller, often family-owned retailers, which in the last few years have seen a significant decline at the hands of their larger competitors. Wal-Mart’s entry into the German market by acquiring Wertkauf and InterSpar has so far been largely unsuccessful. Industry observers attribute this to, among others, the US retailer’s inability to deal with the intricacies of Europe’s most competitive retail market. Its main competition has come from no-frill, low-price chains like Aldi and Lidl. Recent sweeping changes in the retailer’s management structure have yet to make any impact on its position in Germany.(JW)

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