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November 21, 2011

NETHERLANDS: Online, c-stores central to Ahold growth plans

Ahold, the Dutch retail giant, today (21 November) unveiled plans to "accelerate growth" across the business, including moves to boost online sales and expand its convenience store network.

By Dean Best

Ahold, the Dutch retail giant, today (21 November) unveiled plans to “accelerate growth” across the business, including moves to boost online sales and expand its convenience store network.

The company, which has stores in markets including the Netherlands and the US, set out ambitions to triple online sales to EUR1.5bn (US$2.12bn), open at least 150 convenience outlets in Europe and expand its private-label revenues in the US.

The retailer’s “six strategic pillars” also included introducing new customer loyalty schemes and saving EUR350m in costs over the next three years.

CEO Dick Boer said the strategy would ensure Ahold “remains successful and at the forefront of the food retail industry”. He added: “We are reshaping our retail businesses to connect with our customers in a more personalised way and to provide an even better shopping experience in our stores and online.”

The strategy, presented to investors at Ahold’s European HQ in Zaandam in the Netherlands today, set out the retailer’s plans to introduce pick-up points in Europe and the US to give consumers the option of collecting their online orders.

Ahold’s expansion plans in Europe include 150 new convenience outlets in Europe and at least 50 supermarkets in Belgium over the next five years.

In the Czech Republic, Ahold plans to revamp 50 large stores to its “compact hyper” format.

In the US, the retailer wants own label to account for 40% of sales, while it will remodel 100 Stop & Shop and Giant Landover outlets to its Giant Carlisle centre-store layout.

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