From regional sales association to Europe-wide market player
The culture of retail trade has fundamentally changed – whereas the foremost idea used to be the acquisition of goods, everything now depends not only on attractive ranges but also on directing the shopping experience at the point of sale and maintaining a convincing presence in the Internet marketplace because: the retailer who wants to secure his/her future leaves it up to the customer to decide how to make contact!
Since 1925 we have been creating perspectives on the future in an ever-changing market, always for and with our trading partners. Today we collaborate with a good 4,100 entrepreneurs. Just as we do they take responsibility for mid-range businesses– many of them for 100 years and more. And one thing is clear to all involved:
Tradition is no bed of roses. Although it may be an indication that in the past a lot of what we did was right.
2015 EK and Euretco are developing to become a European platform for entrepreneurs
Because of the acquisition of Netherlands’ largest retail service organisation Euretco EK is developing to become a European platform for entrepreneurs with 4,000 trading partners and a revenue of EUR 2.2 billion. EK with its international sales of just less than 10% have become a European retail cooperative with international sales of approximately 50%.
2010 EK celebrate 85 years of existence
When an association of free entrepreneurs survives a world war, currency reform and groundbreaking structural change in competition, it is due on the one hand to unity in partnership and the strength that results from this, and on the other to the people who have shown their commitment to the community far in excess of the norm, both within the circle of retailers and in EK itself.
These are role models who have established their place in the annals of EK − because history is always made by people, and sometimes they are business people. The continuity of EK development is also apparent from a glance at the list of trading partners. Some of the names from those early days are still on the list today.
2005 From EK Großeinkauf to EK/servicegroup
The company gives itself a new name and a new business approach with a clear emphasis on the actual purpose of all its activities: the optimisation of added value for its retail partners. The claim of the EK/servicegroup paves the way to the future: Work with passion!
1972 Stronger together
The history of EK is also the history of mergers. EWELI-KERAMIK, RHEINWEST and ROTE ERDE become EK Großeinkauf.
Three independent retailers from Westphalia decide to collaborate in purchasing activities. None of these progressive thinkers had any idea that they were laying the foundation stone for one of the biggest European multi-sector cooperatives of the future.