REWE International AG
As a reliable local supplier, we provide Austria with food and drugstore products, and manage the international business of REWE Group.
REWE International AG belongs to REWE Group, one of the leading retail and tourism groups in Europe. From our headquarters in Wiener Neudorf, we manage the business in Austria as well as REWE Group's international food retail operations in eight other European countries.
Leading food and drugstore retailer in Austria
With more than 2,570 stores, REWE International AG is Austria's leading local supplier. Together with the online shops of BILLA and BIPA, this makes us a leading local supplier in the food trade as well as a specialist drugstore retailer. Other business areas are tourism, wholesale and meat processing, plus media companies and commercial collaborations.
REWE International AG is one of the largest employers and apprentice trainers in Austria. Behind our success are almost 46,000 dedicated and skilled employees and 2,000 apprentices. Wherever possible, we source our products – including those for our about 60 own brands – from local farmers and suppliers. For example, 100% of the fresh meat and poultry at BILLA comes from Austria. We also obtain more than 160,000 tonnes of Austrian fruit and vegetables per year. That way, we strengthen the Austrian economy and secure valuable jobs.
Active in eight other European markets
REWE International AG has been successful in Central and Eastern Europe since the 1990s. Today, in addition to Austria, we are represented in eight other countries: with BILLA in Bulgaria, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, with food retailer IKI in Lithuania, with discount store PENNY in Italy, Romania, the Czech Republic and Hungary, and with the specialist drugstore BIPA in Croatia.
In 2019, the Retail International division employed almost 95,000 people, managed more than 4,400 stores and generated around €18 billion in sales. Our success in all markets is based on the best product quality at a fair price, deep regional roots as part of the local economy and an on-going commitment to people and the environment.
The 100% owner of REWE International AG is the German REWE Group, one of the most successful retail and tourism groups in Europe. Its roots go back to 1927, when cooperatives joined forces to organise the joint purchase of food. This foundation can still be felt today: REWE Group takes responsibility and focuses on sustainable and long-term growth.
Innovations for the future
The food trade and the tourism industry are in a state of flux. Internationalisation is advancing, consumer trends are developing ever faster and sustainability and digitalisation are a must. REWE Group is responding to this with its strategic orientation and with innovations. It focuses on organic growth, consistently pursues its sustainability strategy, modernises the organisation and continuously develops new market and sales formats.
1950s: Our beginnings
December 1953 marks our birth: Karl Wlaschek opens the first branch of his discount perfumery chain in Vienna. One year later, the concept is extended to the food sector. In 1961, Wlaschek names the company BILLA (for “cheap shop”) and introduces the self-service system, revolutionary at the time.
1960s: MERKUR and a new fresh food service
In 1966, the first self-service shop opens on 1,000 square metres of floor space. MERKUR Warenhandels AG is subsequently established as a hypermarket line. The fresh food service also starts: products such as milk, cheese and sausage are added to the range. This opens up a new variety of food for customers.
1970s and 1980s: From a company to a group
The company grows and becomes a public limited company in 1977. The first fresh meat department opens. BIPA, the in-house perfumery chain, was founded in 1980. In 1983, MONDO (today's PENNY Markt) signals the company's entry into the discount sector. New delicatessen departments with local and international sausage and cheese specialities are created. The marian advertising studio and the Wegenstein winery are also launched.
1990s: Innovation and expansion
Scanner and ATM cash registers as well as Europe's first organic brand Ja! Natürlich make their way into the branches. Further popular own brands are created with Chef Menü, LOOK BY BIPA and clever®. The groundbreaking ceremony is held for the central warehouse in Wiener Neudorf, Lower Austria. The expansion continues: 200 Konsum branches and 160 Meinl locations are taken over. There are first branches abroad – from Italy to the Czech Republic to Romania. With ITS BILLA Reisen, the company enters the tourism sector and becomes part of REWE Group in 1996.
2000s: Growth proceeds apace
In the new millennium, REWE International AG acquires a stake in the traditional Austrian company ADEG as well as in the successful Vorarlberg food retailer Sutterlüty. New own brands such as Vegavita are created and the topic of sustainability becomes an integral part of the corporate strategy.
2010s: Together for a better life
REWE International AG strengthens its commitment to green products, animal welfare and company-wide energy and climate targets. Modern sales formats are created with the online shops billa.at and merkurmarkt.at. In 2016, 25 branches of the insolvent supermarket chain Zielpunkt in Vienna and Lower Austria are taken over. Since 2017, REWE International AG has also been responsible for the international business of REWE Group. The jö Bonus Club is launched in May 2019 and is immediately the largest customer loyalty programme in Austria. Currently, 3.8 million customers enjoy its benefits, which can be redeemed at 16 partner companies.
2020s: Fit for the future of retail
The retail sector is undergoing massive upheaval and REWE International AG is repositioning itself strategically for this. In 2020, the administration of BILLA and MERKUR merges, seven sales regions are created, strengths are bundled and processes optimised. One year later, MERKUR becomes BILLA PLUS and thus part of the BILLA brand family. This is the next step towards a new business model with customised adaptation to each customer and location with a precisely fitting format and product range.