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Albert Heijn has introduced a new app, 'Rappie' in the Netherlands. The app, which is currently being piloted in four stores in Rotterdam allows shoppers to 'decide last minute, location-independent what they want to eat or drink and have this delivered immediately'.

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Ahold Delhaize has doubled the floor order processing capacity of one of its NDCs in The Netherlands.

Investing in fresh

The newly formed Ahold Delhaize has renovated its Ah.nl online national distribution centre (NDC), the Home Shop Center in De Meern, Utrecht. The renovation, which will soon enable the retailer to double the number of orders processed there, included a new production hall. Ahold Delhaize has also installed a new 3,000 sq m cold storage facility, which will enable the retailer to expand its fresh product offering.

25,000 more orders a week

Patrick Daniels, senior director operations AH online commented: "The number of customers doing online grocery shopping with ah.nl continues to grow. The expansion of the Home Shop Center in De Meern means we will be able to deliver around 25,000 more orders to customers per week.”

Managing cost to serve

Discover in-depth insight into how companies are managing their cost to serve while still supporting growth – take a look at our Cost to serve hub topic to find out how others may be streamlining and reducing costs.

In the Netherlands, Ahold has announced a number of developments online, which is seeing expand its skill and scale in relation to the ecommerce channel, marking it out as one of the region’s most innovative retailers.

Innovating to maintain leadership

In an interview with Emerce magazine, Albert Heijn online’s general manager, Selma Postma, outlined the retailer’s need to keep innovating, despite the low share of grocery sales accounted for by the online channel. Postma pointed to the launch of the Allerhande Box, which although later than competitors, is more available to shoppers due to the retailer’s more than 900 stores, which they visit on average three times a week. She went on to highlight the importance that Albert Heijn is putting on personalisation, so that its range of sites – Albert Heijn, Etos and Gall & Gall – will be better placed to target shoppers as individuals, and are convenient, so that the same sites suggest products and move between channels with shoppers.

In relation to the Allerhande Box, as part of a separate announcement, Albert Heijn expanded the available range, adding two sets specifically for families. There are two new boxes: the ‘Family Box’ provides three meals for four people, with dishes aimed at children, and cost €49; while the second, the ‘Inspiration Box’ provides three meals for two people, for €37.50, and supplies recipes with more exotic combinations of flavours.

Operating a temporary mobile pick-up point

In Harlingen, in northern Netherlands, Albert Heijn is set to operate a temporary mobile pick-up point as a way to meet shopper demands for its products in an area where it does not operate a store. The location is aimed at meeting the demands of the residents of Terschelling and the island's approximately 500,000 annual, mostly seasonal visitors. The delivery truck will enable shoppers who are on holiday to collect orders they make online. The temporary pick-up point is part of a trial of operating collection points in third-party locations and will enable Albert Heijn to meet a short-term increase in demand.

Looking for more on Ahold?

Check out our Ahold snapshot - an essential summary of supply chain priorities, latest network developments, and other key statistics for Ahold.

Netherlands-based Ahold and Belgium-based Delhaize have been given the go ahead to merge by the US-based Federal Trade Commission, following the sale of 86 stores.

Merger creates Ahold Delhaize

Following the merger of the two companies Ahold Delhaize has launched its new corporate logo, which is an amalgamation of the crown of Royal Ahold and the head of the lion from Delhaize. The logo will not be used on stores given that Ahold operates stores under the Albert Heijn name in the Netherlands.

Source: Ahold Delhaize

The combined company will report its first set of results on 17 November, although both individual parts will report their first half results on 25 August. The results in November will be looked at closely to see whether there is evidence of the first benefits coming through from the combination of the two companies.

An historic moment

Commenting on the merger, chief executive of Ahold Delhaize, Dick Boer, said: “Completing this merger today is an exciting and historic moment. With our new leadership team, we look forward to continuing to deliver for our customers and other stakeholders."

Meanwhile, separately, Boer was quoted by Bloomberg as saying that while happy to complete the merger, ‘the sale in the US happened under a lot of pressure to sell, because in the end you want to close the deal… which means, we’re happy with the number of stores sold, but that the proceeds eventually are likely to be less’, suggesting the retailer was hoping to generate more from the sales.

Transforming the end-to-end supply chain

Albert Heijn has worked over the last ten years to transform its end-to-end wine supply chain, introducing a robust operational process that has dramatically reduced lead times, reduced working capital and improved on-shelf availability. Check out our case study here.

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