Welcome to the the Ivey HBA Retail Marketing Management blog. Retail marketing is an exciting, dynamic, important, and very visible aspect of the overall field of marketing. Throughout the year, students will be posting comments regarding contemporary retailing issues. Although this is intended to be used by Bus 4411 students, industry marketing professionals are also invited to join in if they like.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Feinkost Käfer: From a single store to Europe's best event caterer

The biggest challenge for small, individual retailers seems to be the expansion into a network of branded stores from just one in the beginning. Having discussed Jill‘s Table and Sunripe Market Place, issues, such as how to duplicate excellent services and knowledge arise along with the question of who takes over the business in the future.
The German family business `Käfer´ is an impressive example of how a small store, selling wine and beer, can grow into one of Europe‘s most reputable event caterers.
Paul and Elsa Käfer opened a small store for wine and beer in 1930 in Munich, changing the assortment quickly into delicatessen and fine foods. Known for the excellent quality and knowledge of their products, Käfer took over the gastronomy of the two most well-known theatres in 1956 and 1963, the National Theatre as well as the Prinzregententheatre.
Paul & Elsa‘s children grew up in the family business and continued the expansion in the 1970‘s through opening the `Käfer-Schänke´ (bavarian, yet high-end restaurant) with a dependency on the Munich Oktoberfest.
Gerd Käfer (third generation) opened the P1 in Munich‘s most famous musuem- a club that is until now, the most famous club in Germany. Along with the publishing of a book about how to organize the most memorable events, such as birthdays, weddings etc. Gerd Käfer built the Käfer brand especially through the event organizing & catering business.
Offices were opened in Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, and Berlin to host events for companies, celebrities and political festivities.
Decisive for the success of every expansion step, was to ensure the quality, associated with the Käfer brand, as well as the close contact to clients through the family that always acted as single owner and management. The Käfer family was/is always directly associated with every business segment: Delicatessen, Event catering and Licensed products.
Michael Käfer (son of Gerd Käfer) is now owner and CEO of the Käfer group that includes 3 delicatessen markets, a license agreement with the Japanese department store Mitsukoshi, several restaurants in museums, operas & theatres, and airports, as well as the German Bundestag.
The main business is, however, the organizing and catering of festivities, such as the Bahrein International Circuit, the FIFA soccer world championship in 2006 and the Bambi award (the German Academy Award).
Since its inception, Käfer is not only known for excellent quality and outstanding service, but more importantly for the family behind it. What started out as Munich‘s most fashionable delicatessen store and caterer is now one of Europe‘s finest, still with a very individual image, party services.

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