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At its annual analysts’ meeting this week, international retail conglomerate Delhaize Group unveiled a new strategic plan for the near future emphasizing accelerated growth, increased efficiencies and stronger intra-group integration. In setting out the plan’s goals, the company said it would aim to further boost its price competitiveness in all of its markets, triple the number of store openings in the next three years in its newer formats and operations vs. the years 2007 through 2009, and achieve an additional 300 million euros (US $451 million) in annual operating cost savings by 2012 to bankroll its price investments and other sales-building activities, as well as to support its profitability.
“Today, Delhaize Group has a strong and proven building platform of leading brands and market shares, best-in-class industry profitability and a solid balance sheet,” noted Delhaize president and CEO Pierre-Olivier Beckers. “Now is the right time to capitalize on our strengths and further accelerate. The goal of our ‘New Game Plan’ is to deliver value leadership in all our markets, leading to superior revenue and profit growth, and to make of Delhaize Group a more effective acquisition platform through additional synergies, shared knowledge and shared services.”
The New Game Plan incorporates four themes:
—Operate as One Group: The company’s over 141,000 employees will share and live one common vision and set of values
— Accelerate Growth: Delhiaze will put an even greater emphasis on price competitiveness, resulting in value leadership across all its operations. Each of its banners will roll out a new, more aggressive pricing strategy next year, with the goal of narrowing the gap between itself and leading price competitor. Other ways the conglomerate plans to increase business is though efficient assortment; innovative and attractive products and services; nutritional labeling for its Belgian and Greek operations’ private brands; the extension of its corporate responsibility initiatives, including a policy of auditing 100 percent of its private brand suppliers for food safety and compliance; and ramping up the store openings of its discount supermarket formats and newer markets to 250 (compared with 85 new stores in 2007 through 2009)
—Excel in Associate Development: The company will continue leverage its signature training and development programs, as well as its strong corporate culture
—Executional Excellence: On top of 60 million euros in savings realized in 2008 and an additional 100 million euros saved the following year, Delhaize plans to generate 300 million euros in annual operating cost savings by 2012 through banner-specific initiatives and increased shared services, particularly at a regional level
Brussels-based Delhaize is an international food retailer present in six countries on three continents. Among its grocery banners are Food Lion, Bloom, Bottom Dollar Food, Sweetbay Supermarket and Hannaford Supermarkets in the United States.