The German Retail Federation

German Retail Federation

For over 100 years, the German Retail Federation (Handelverband Deutschland - HDE) has been the overarching organisation of the German retail sector, which consists of about 300,000 independent companies with a total of 3 million employees and a yearly turnover of more than 500 billion Euros. Retail trade is the third biggest economic sector in Germany, after industry and crafts. 

The HDE head office is located in Berlin. It represents the needs and interests of the whole retail sector of all sectors, locations and sizes. HDE is the legitimate voice of the sector vis-à-vis national and EU-level politics, as well as vis-à-vis other business sectors, the media and the public. HDE is an active member of more than 60 national and international organisations. In its role as leading retail umbrella organisation, HDE supports individual companies in all professional subject matters. It provides and safeguards the voice and place which the retail sector deserves due to its evonomic significance.



Dr. Alexander v. Preen

Secretary General:

Stefan Genth

Interest representation at all levels

The German Retail Federation fulfills its tasks as an umbrella organisation of the German retail business supported by its regional and sectoral pillars.

At regional level the German Retail Federation works with:

  • 8 State (Länder) retail associations

  • 70 regional retail associations

  • 26 professional trade associations at federal level

  • around 100 professional trade associations at State (German Länder) level

Apart from that, HDE cooperates with a number of external advisors and professional associations in different sectors including e.g. business advisors, insurance groups, educational centres and best practise exchange groups.

Areas dealt with are:

  • Social affairs

  • Economics, tax and finance

  • Education and vocational training

  • Sector information

  • Online retailing

  • EU legislation

  • SME policy

  • Legal affairs

  • Logistics & transport policy

  • Environment

  • Consumer policy

At EU-level the German Retail Federation has a Brussels office:

  • Covering all European issues of relevance to retail, in particular social affairs, environment, health and consumer protection, food safety, legal affairs, ICT, SME policy, taxation, payment systems.

  • Member of EuroCommerce: active participation in and contribution to internal committee work and lobbying activities in general.

  • Link HDE Brussels office