Source your product in Germany

Our local teams will do the work

Finding distributors or retail sales channels might be straightforward, but discovering the right one that drives revenue for your business is a real challenge.

With our Scan-Launch-Grow approach we make this task significantly easier for you! Our local teams have a vast network of distributors and retail channels, know what is important to them and can reach out easily.

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Find the right retail channels in Germany

Germany is one of the largest markets of Europe, but also a conservative one and difficult to penetrate from abroad.

As of 2024, Germany’s population is estimated at about 83.25 million people. This represents a slight decrease in population growth, with a density of approximately 239 people per square kilometer. The country has also experienced significant immigration, including a substantial influx of refugees.

Germany is a major global economic player, renowned for its industrial output and robust economy. The country has a strong focus on manufacturing and export, especially in the automotive and machinery sectors.

Germany is home to several large cities, with Berlin being the largest, followed by Hamburg and Munich. The country also has a large number of smaller cities and towns, with a total of 82 cities having populations of more than 100,000 people.

More about German distribution channels

Germany’s distribution structure is characterised by:

  • a large number of small independent shops
  • low levels of concentration, other other countries have much more retail chains
  • the predominance of distribution in city centers and urban areas
  • few “hypermarket” style stores

This forces any new supplier to work through mostly regional distributors, in order to get sufficient penetration. An agent or importer may be needed to service them all.

It may be wise to focus first on one region in Germany, or to concentrate with more high-end products in the major cities of the country.

Top-5 supermarkets in Germany

Edeka: Edeka is the largest supermarket retail chain in Germany with a turnover of €62.7 billion in 2021. The chain operates several banners, including Edeka, Marktkauf, Netto, NP Niedrig-Preis, Diska, and SPAR Express, and has a vast network of around 11,126 stores.

Lidl & Kaufland: These two brands, both part of the Schwarz Group, collectively achieved a turnover of €48.4 billion in 2021. They operate a combined total of 3,992 stores in Germany, with Lidl having 3,242 outlets and Kaufland boasting 750 stores.

REWE: REWE reported an estimated turnover of €33.94 billion in 2021. The group operates several banners, including nahkauf, Penny, REWE, and others, with a network of 6,725 stores in Germany.

Aldi: Including both Aldi Nord and Aldi Süd, Aldi reported a turnover of €30.25 billion in 2021. Across Germany, it operates 4,186 stores. Aldi has a long history, dating back to its foundation in 1913.

Lekkerland: This wholesale and retail company, part of the REWE Group, reported a turnover of €8.2 billion in 2020.

Trade shows in Germany

Germany has many trade shows which are an excellent way to showcase your products and to orient yourself on the market. However, due to the sheer size of these shows chances are small that a purchasing manager of a major chain will accidentally visit your booth. A dedicated distributor search, preferably in another moment of the year, may yield more results for substantially less than the costs of a booth.

If you decide to have your booth at a German trade show, be well prepared and have your message tailored to the European and especially German visitors. It might be a good idea to contact relevant distribution channels in advance and invite them to your booth.

Let us find the right distributors in Germany!

We know the market from inside-out

We work with local teams, who already know the market, speak the language and know the business culture.

We are active in over 30 countries

We can compare different markets and as we can help you in all of them, we only favor the market that may work out best for you.

You Reduce your risks

We help you avoid cultural misunderstandings, compliance issues, and other risks associated with entering a new market.

Our structured approach for finding distributors abroad

Alliance experts has a proven methodology to start or increase your sales in a new market. Our local teams in over 30 countries help you define your pitch and to find and convince the right sales channels or clients. Select your target country and click on the package to see what we do for you each month.

Month 1

Scan phase

  • Tell us more about your company and offering
  • Get a first long-list of potential distributors, partners or clients
  • Receive feedback from them on your product or service
  • Get an overview of the competition

Market pioneer

  • Intake questionnaire
  • Product knowledge call
  • Long-list with up t0 10 targets
  • 1 feedback interview
  • Listing up to 3 competitors
  • Monthly review call

Market explorer

  • Intake questionnaire
  • Product knowledge call
  • Long-list with up t0 20 targets
  • 3 feedback interviews
  • Listing up to 10 competitors
  • 1 competitor investigation
  • Bi-weekly review call

Market conqueror

  • Intake questionnaire
  • Product knowledge call
  • Long-list with up t0 50 targets
  • 5 feedback interviews
  • Listing up to 20 competitors
  • 3 competitor investigations
  • Weekly review call

Month 2

Launch phase

  • With our help, develop the right pitch for this market
  • See the list of targets growing 
  • We pitch your product to the right decision makers
  • Evaluate with us and adjust the approach where needed

Market pioneer

  • Pitch for the local market
  • Adding up to 10 leads to the long-list
  • Outreach to 10 targets
  • Monthly review call

Market explorer

  • Pitch for the local market
  • Review of your marketing materials
  • Adding up to 20 leads to the long-list
  • Outreach to 20 targets
  • Bi-weekly review call

Market conqueror

  • Pitch for the local market
  • Review of your marketing materials
  • Jointly developed pitch deck with translation
  • Adding up to 50 leads to the long-list
  • Outreach to 50 targets
  • Weekly review call

Month 3 and further

Grow phase

  • See the list of targets growing until we have all relevant ones
  • We continue pitching and also follow up on your leads
  • Follow-up on interested prospects or leave it to us
  • Every month you receive a full report on all contacts we had

Market pioneer

  • Adding up to 20 leads to the long-list
  • Outreach to 20 targets
  • Follow-up with 10 targets and 3 of your leads
  • Hand-over of interested parties
  • Monthly review call

Market explorer

  • Adding up to 50 leads to the long-list
  • Outreach to 50 targets
  • Follow-up with 25 targets and 10 of your leads
  • Hand-over of interested parties
  • 3 follow-up meetings
  • Deal closing support for 1 deal
  • Bi-weekly review call

Market conqueror

Custom proposal that we discuss with you after completion of the Scan and Launch phase, for example a dedicated (part-time) sales person

 

Select your target country to see prices:





    Select a package to see what we do for you:

    Market pioneer

    per month

    Market explorer

    per month

    Market conqueror

    per month

    Customer Experiences

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    Alliance Expert found distributors for Harley Davidson

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    ” Invaluable local insights led to great distributor matches. Their approach revolutionized our market entry strategy. Highly recommend! “
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    Frequently asked questions

    The best way to find a distributor in Germany is to first decide who are the most likely end-users for your product, whether it are consumers or businesses. Then determine where they now buy your product of an alternative. Before starting to push your product, approach a number of them to ask what they find important and for what reasons they would switch supplier. This way you can position and document your product better before you reach out to a broader group.
    First check whether your product normally is sold through an agent in Germany, or that other distribution structures are more common. Then determine the characteristics of your ideal agent, and find a number of these, or outsource this search. When you approach the first few, you will learn what they find imporant and who your competitors are, and you can get a feeling of the commissions they want.
    For the major supermarket and drugstore chains in Germany, this may be the case, but it always is difficult. You need a very well documented story and preferably a product that is proven to sell in other countries. Working with a distributor who already has relationships may be easier. Smaller chains and independent stores always buy through a distributor.
    As in any country, convincing a distributor or retailer to put your product in his assortment is difficult. Also in Germany, distributors look at the rotation of the product, how easy and often they can sell it, and multiply this with the margin they can make on it. The result should be higher than they earn now from any competing product. Only if you have proper sales data, for example from other countries, they will engage in a discussion with you.
    Resellers and dealers mostly not only look at how much margin they can make on your product, but also what additional services they can provide, like installation or maintenance. If you are already active outside Germany, and you have data from other dealers or resellers you work with, this will make it easier to convince them. Preferably use a local party like Alliance experts to find and approach any potential resellers or dealers.

    We are active in over 30 countries