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Following the formation of Ahold’s executive committee in September 2013, Ahold Europe will cease to exist as a business division, Amsterdam-based retail conglomerate Ahold said, adding that it would refocus its current Ahold Europe operations and leadership on building the Albert Heijn supermarket business in the Netherlands and adjoining markets through various formats and channels.
Under the reorganization, executive committee member Sander van der Laan will continue to head Albert Heijn, reporting to CEO Dick Boer, and the company’s Czech Republic business will report directly to Boer. Also, e-commerce site bol.com will continue to report to executive committee member and Chief Commercial Officer Hanneke Faber.
Future Growth in View
“The food retail industry continues to evolve rapidly, and we see significant opportunities for growth to cater for the changes in the way that our customers shop,” noted Boer. “Today’s decision will bring management closer to running the business. By further strengthening the Albert Heijn brand in both the Netherlands as well as neighboring markets, combined with a growing omni-channel offering via Albert Heijn online, Albert Heijn pickup points, and Albert Heijn to go, we will be better positioned to meet customer needs and accelerate future growth.”
The company said it would continue to pursue other key areas of growth within Europe, including a stronger market position for Albert Heijn in the Czech Republic, the introduction of Albert Heijn and bol.com in Belgium, and the rollout of drug store chain Etos and wine and liquor retailer Gall & Gall in the Netherlands.
Simultaneously, Ahold is involved in an ongoing effort to streamline and simplify support functions across the company under its “Simplicity” program. “This will ensure that the company can maintain and strengthen its successful market positions and continually reinvest resources in its customer proposition and organizational capabilities,” Ahold explained.