Germany-based variety store chain Woolworth GmbH is deepening its cooperation with ImmoScout24, an online platform for residential and commercial real estate, as it seeks to expand its store footprint.

Woolworth has been working with ImmoScout24 since autumn 2021: through a matching process, the discounter immediately learns of suitable commercial properties when they are uploaded to ImmoScout24. In addition, Woolworth draws attention to its own search for commercial space by advertising on the platform, while ImmoScout24 has contacted all listed commercial property agents and asked them to submit proposals to Woolworth.

Bucking the trend toward internet retail that has been accelerated by the pandemic, Woolworth has opened more than 100 stores since 2020, bringing the total to more than 530. It sees potential to expand to more than 1,000 outlets nationwide and is planning to open its first outlet in Poland next year. The first Woolworth store in Germany was opened in Bremen in 1928, with the company separating from its U.S.-based parent in 1998 through a management buyout.

According to Lennart Wehrmeier, managing director responsible for expansion at Woolworth, rising vacancy rates in German retail are an opportunity. “We want to fill vacant retail spaces with life again and offer citizens a necessary assortment at entry-level prices. At the same time, we enrich pedestrian zones, district and shopping centers,” he said.

“We can already report the first successes from the cooperation: in July, we opened a location in Bopfingen (Baden-Württemberg) and at the beginning of December, a Woolworth branch opened in Erding (Upper Bavaria). Both of these were brokered by ImmoScout24.”

The company said it wanted to double its number of stores in Germany, although it was becoming increasingly difficult to find suitable retail space at fair rents. “Working with ImmoScout24, we hope to expand our network, have enriching conversations with experts and ultimately real estate proposals that lead to successful leasing … We have made exciting plans with ImmoScout24 to continue our expansion,” said Wehrmeier.

“Our cooperation with Woolworth is still in its infancy, but it has already borne fruit,” said Dr. Thomas Schroeter, managing director of ImmoScout24. “There are numerous white spaces that Woolworth can fill. As the market leader, we bring supply and demand together every day. It is a classic win-win situation: Woolworth benefits from our reach and network and we reach new target groups.”

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