Ahold's US unit Giant Carlisle has confirmed that it is planning to debut a new convenience store concept.

Speaking at an Ahold-sponsored media event in Washington DC, Giant president and CEO Sander van der Laan hinted at the imminent trial of the new smaller scale format.

"Giant has developed a c-store business that will pilot soon," van der Laan indicated.

The company is planning to trial Giant and Go convenience stores and forecourts, with one opening planned in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

Ahold USA chief operating officer Lawrence Benjamin said that all Ahold USA's banners - Giant Carlisle, Giant Landover and Stop & Shop - were keen to benefit from the expertise of Dutch sister company Albert Heijn, where van der Laan previously served as EVP of marketing and merchandise.

According to Benjamin, the company is open to the possibility of expanding any of its units into new formats. However, he emphasised, it is essential to first get the core food offering right.

Ahold USA has been looking to improve sales across its businesses through the implementation of its value improvement program (VIP) over the past two years. The company has slashed prices, re-evaluated its product offering and invested in store improvements.

Last week, Ahold posted third-quarter same-store sales gains at all three of its US banners. Giant Carlisle saw identical sales rise 5.4%, Stop & Shop identical sales were up 3.8%, while Giant Landover booked its first sales increase in 25 quarters with comparable sales up 0.6%.