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Abstract

The German food retail sector and food manufacturers are in a state of transition due to a complex mix of technological and market forces. Competition continues to increase due to sluggish demand and increasing consumer mobility. The high degree of domestic and international concentration increases the intensity of competition. The top 20 food retailers obtain far more than two-thirds of total sales. Because of the increased competition among retailers, the number of retail stores will continue to decline. Food manufacturers fear the buying power of retailers in many ways. Distrust and struggle over the terms of trade characterize the relation between retailers and manufacturers. ECR activities in Germany lag behind relative to the US due to various cultural and procedural differences as well as strategic reasons. However, ECR provides a catalog of measures to achieve more efficiency and customer focus.

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