The dm drogerie drugstore network concentrates not only on financial results but also on work-life balance and how its employees feel. “We do opinion surveys, and the things that people feel most strongly about are reflected in the future direction of the whole company,” says Jiří Peroutka, Communications Manager.
Replace plastic bags with reusable or cloth bags, learn how to sort waste, and try natural cosmetics. Even a cursory look at social networks makes it clear that the relationship between mankind and the environment is an important issue for the dm drogerie brand. It also formed the basis for its current campaign, “Conscious Choice”.
“To be sustainable, we decided to put an end to, for example, free balloons for children. We got negative responses from customers, because the balloons amuse kids for a very short time. Then they end up in the bin,” says Peroutka. For a similar reason, the company has removed plastic straws and dishes from its product offer. “We’re simply trying to give people alternatives.” He adds that some of the stores run on green energy and the company also uses natural gas-powered cars.
Jiří Peroutka explains that although the online segment of drugstore goods is booming, there is still more interest in purchases made in bricks and mortar stores. However, the ability to order goods on the internet, from the comfort of one’s home, is something that people expect from a drugstore of this type. Therefore, the brand wants to work on further developing the dm drogerie online shop.
S“We work with high schools and universities, offering them work experience programmes. We also focus on educating people at stores, concentrating on topics such as customer communication, advice, healthy eating, and more.”Jiří Peroutka, Communications Manager, dm drogerie
The drugstore chain, founded in 1973 by the German businessman Götz Werner, argues that it is not fair to attract customers for one-off discounts.
“It’s important for us that customers come and buy an item when they really need it,” says Peroutka. Thus, at dm drogerie, we apply a strategy of long-term pricing, which means a price stays the same for at least four months. There is also a points system in which customers can, after they have gathered a certain number of points, choose how much of a discount they want to get on the total purchase price.
According to Werner, a positive working environment is more important than enormous financial returns. It is therefore not about setting maximum profits but reasonable profits that allow the company to develop. In addition to results, dm drogerie focuses on work-life balance and on how staff members are feeling. Parttime work is therefore an option here, and during regular annual meetings with their line managers, employees discuss their work satisfaction levels, what needs improving, and where they would like to be in the future.
In customer communication, sincerity pays off for the brand. The company uses data from consumer studies and their customer loyalty programme. When it withdraws products, it informs customers about it. “We build their trust in us. We know from studies that customers consider dm drogerie to be a lovebrand, so they’re also willing to forgive us for some mistakes that may occur,” notes Peroutka.
The Czech Republic is the third country after Germany and Austria where dm drogerie has opened its shops. The Czech headquarters is based in České Budějovice, which offers some advantages: it is not far from the borders, and the company is also one of the most important employers in the region. As is the case of Germany, in the Czech Republic dm drogerie strives to listen to its employees.
“We do opinion surveys, and the things that people feel most strongly about are reflected in the future direction of the whole company,” explains Peroutka. In another aspect, the staff training in Germany and the Czech Republic is identical. “We work with high schools and in České Budějovice, and at the central warehouse in Jihlava we provide work experience. We also focus on educating people at stores, concentrating on topics such as customer communication, advice, healthy eating, and more.” dm drogerie is also a certification authority for drugstore staff. Because what they do cannot be studied at school in the Czech Republic, candidates can formally complete their training through additional certification.