Dutch retail giant Ahold has announced that Jim Demme, chief executive of its US retailer Bruno’s supermarkets, is to leave the company to pursue other interests, while four of Ahold’s US retail companies are further restructuring their back-office operations.

Giant-Carlisle and Tops will pursue further integration of their merchandising and administrative functions, accelerating a process that began two years ago with the announcement of a shared services’ arrangement between the two companies. BI-LO and Bruno’s will begin the process of restructuring selected business and administrative functions. This reorganisation at four of Ahold’s six US retail companies is aimed at strengthening customer focus, reducing costs and better positioning each of them to compete in today’s marketplace.

Ahold operates over 1,600 stores grouped in six retail operating companies along the US eastern seaboard: Stop & Shop, Giant-Landover, Giant-Carlisle, Tops, BI-LO and Bruno’s. Sales from these operations amounted to US$26.3bn in 2002.