Retail giant Ahold is to reorganise its US and European operations in a bid to position itself to make acquisitions in new and existing markets.

The Dutch retailer said today (5 November) that it will set up four new US divisions from the two it operates currently.

Stop&Shop/Giant-Carlisle and Giant Landover will be separated into Stop & Shop New England, Stop & Shop Metro New York, Giant-Landover and Giant-Carlisle.

"The changes we have announced today build a strong platform for future growth. We are further simplifying and streamlining our businesses and will be able to provide even greater focus on our customers. The changes will also allow Dick Boer and Larry Benjamin to devote more time to growth opportunities in existing and new markets," said chief executive John Rishton.

Boer is the COO for Ahold Europe, while Lawrence Benjamin is the COO for Ahold USA.

Boer has appointed Sander van der Laan to head Albert Heijn as its new general manager. Van der Laan will return to the Netherlands from his current role at Giant-Carlisle in the US to start in January 2010.

Benjamin has appointed Carl Schlicker as CEO of four newly reorganized US divisions - Stop & Shop New England, Stop & Shop Metro New York, Giant-Landover and Giant-Carlisle.