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P&G and dm look back on five decades of putting shoppers first and driving sustainability.

Global fast-moving consumer goods company Procter & Gamble (P&G) has been by German drugstore retailer dm-drogerie markt (dm)’s side since it opened its first store 50 years ago, in 1973. United by their consumer-centric approach to business, both companies strongly believe that only by keeping a sharp focus on shoppers’ needs and desires is it possible to experience lasting success and achieve sustainable growth.

P&G was founded more than 185 years ago with the purpose of improving consumers’ lives now and for generations to come. Guided by this mission, P&G is determined to use its global size to be a force for growth so it can be a force for good – harnessing the power of its global brands to help ensure a better future both for the people and for the planet.

dm’s team is inspired by the vision to enable consumers to contribute to a society worth living in and the creation of a healthier planet through their consumption choices. With meaningful innovations and partnerships, and the consistent use of new technologies, dm wants to help build a sustainable economy that preserves the environment while ensuring a high quality of life for everyone.

dm’s mission, “Hier bin ich Mensch, hier kauf ich ein” (in English: “Here I am a human being, here I shop”) expresses its consistent commitment to ‘humanity and partnership’ in all of its relationships – with customers, employees, trade partners and the environment.

Along with their consumer, shopper and sustainability focus, P&G and dm are closely connected by their ways of working: both have multifunctional diverse teams, few hierarchies and positive feedback cultures, as well as the openness to look for new opportunities in light of changing consumer habits and needs.

Many collaborative projects have been brought to life based on this openness. A handful of examples have been picked out below to demonstrate the close partnership between these two companies.

Based on the insight that young, first-time parents are often feeling overwhelmed by the array of information available to them, dm’s ‘babybonus’ Baby Club was launched in 2002.

It’s intent was to provide support and educate parents on pregnancy, the first year of parenting and babies’ needs, including diapers and baby food, clothing and skincare. With its own baby program, P&G’s Pampers brand partnered with the Baby Club, helping dm achieve its mission to support first-time parents.

In 2014, dm relaunched the club under the name “glückskind” (in English: “happy child”). The free of charge family program offers advice and companionship for parents from pregnancy and the birth of the baby to the child’s 12th birthday.

Drawing on both companies’ creativity and knowledge, in 2018 P&G and dm set up a new format of collaboration called ‘Partner hub’, where multifunctional teams from both sides can work together.

Teams can co-create programs using design thinking, maximizing creativity to come up with out-of-the-box ideas that drive value for the product categories that P&G and dm are operating in.

From the joint mission to create a more sustainable planet for future generations, P&G and dm are two of the founding partners of the Forum Rezyklat.

Initiated by dm in 2018, it is a forum of retailers, manufacturing companies, waste management companies and civil society who work together on plastic recycling solutions. The Forum Rezyklat today has more than 60 members with joint objectives to reduce new plastic in products and packaging, increase recycled plastic in packaging and highlight the importance of consumers in the circular economy.

To reduce unnecessary packaging and improve end to end logistics, P&G and dm as part of the GS1 platform and additional partners, have created a simple, standardized, and re usable shipping container: the GS1 SMART Box.

Since June 2021, GS1 Smart Box has been used to ship products between key industry and retail partners. The companies joint vision is that the GS1 SMART Box will become the industry standard for transport packaging worldwide.

Based on the insight that consumers don’t replace their toothbrush or toothbrush heads regularly enough (dentists recommend replacing them every three months for good oral health), P&G and dm’s developed a recurring education campaign – a brainchild of their Partner hub collaboration – which reminds consumers to replace their toothbrushes and brush heads every 12 weeks, thus helping to improve the oral health of German consumers in the long run.

P&G and dm’s 50-year partnership provides a strong and exciting foundation for the future. As the two companies look ahead to an increasingly digital world and the growth of omnichannel retail, their future mission is clear: to serve consumers and shoppers sustainably with products and services that not only meet their needs but also those of the planet.

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