Dutch retailer Ahold is looking to improve its price positioning by slashing prices on branded goods and expanding its budget line of own-label products.

The company yesterday (9 September) lowered the price of “over 1,000 A brand products”, a spokesperson for the firm told just-food. “The reductions are permanent. The percentage of the reduction varies from product to product. Price reductions can be as high as 20%,” the spokesperson explained.

The company is also “rapidly” increasing the number of products in its AH Basic entry-level own-label range to 400 products by the end of 2013.

“We want our customers to be able not only to benefit from temporary offers, but shop at affordable prices every day,” the spokesperson said.

The cuts come in response to the rising cost of living in the Netherlands, the spokesperson added. “For many customers, life has become more and more expensive (budget cutbacks, inflation), also at Albert Heijn. We want our customers to be able to shop with us at affordable prices.”

Weak consumer sentiment coupled with inflation have seen competition on pricing step up in the market, with discounters such as Germany’s Lidl gaining ground in the downturn.