Ahold has said it plans to mechanise large parts of the supply chain for its Albert Heijn subsidiary, while also streamlining supply lines for perishable foods.

The firm said today (7 September) that it will invest heavily in Albert Heijn’s supply chain over the next couple of years.

Operations at regional distribution centres will be mechanised for non-perishable goods. Meanwhile, perishables will be grouped in a series of new national category centres.

Sander van der Laan, Albert Heijn CEO, said: “Every day, many Albert Heijn colleagues together ensure that the shelves in our over-850 stores are well stocked.

“We’re looking to secure our capacity for future growth, and by simplifying our fresh food chain and mechanizing non-perishables we should be able to provide a better service at lower prices – and be ready for growth.”

The company said that permanent staff numbers should be unaffected by the changes, although temporary staff numbers are likely to gradually fall.

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