from our continents
“At Ahold USA, we reached a milestone in sales growth…”
“In Europe, our businesses remained popular with customers…”
Sander van der Laan
Ahold Europe: Sander van der Laan, Chief Operating Officer Ahold Europe
“In the Netherlands, our businesses remained popular with customers and continued to drive sales in a competitive market. This was largely due to the strong customer loyalty we built through our successful value repositioning at Albert Heijn and Etos in recent years, and effective promotions. We also moved into a new market, opening the first Albert Heijn stores in Belgium.
“Our Dutch stores again proved popular with customers, with Albert Heijn XL achieving a record high rating by customers and Gall & Gall and Etos voted among the 10 most customer-friendly companies in the Netherlands. Etos was also voted best drugstore.
“We continued to help customers make healthy food choices, partnering with Dutch Foundation "Ik Kies Bewust" to develop new nationwide healthy food choice logos. We strengthened our own-brand assortments and Gall & Gall launched a new own-brand line of products, which quickly achieved 10 percent sales penetration.
“Our online business, albert.nl, had another year of strong sales growth as it celebrated its tenth anniversary. We also further developed technologies to make shopping easier for customers. Albert Heijn's "Appie" digital personal shopping assistant was named best application of its kind in the Netherlands and had 400,000 unique users per week by the end of the year.
“At Albert / Hypernova (in the Czech Republic and Slovakia - which make up our Other Europe segment) we achieved an operating profit during each quarter of the year. The program we started in 2009 to improve our commercial proposition, take costs out of the business, and move to a single brand in the Czech Republic has helped us to increase profitability in this business.
“Albert launched a new compact hypermarket format designed to provide an easy and convenient shopping experience along with a great assortment of food and non-food products at low prices every day. Albert also ran several innovative customer marketing campaigns in 2011 and donated more than €200,000 to the Albert Charity Foundation, which helps individuals in need in the Czech Republic.”
Ahold USA: Carl Schlicker, Chief Operating Officer Ahold USA
“In 2011, Ahold USA reached a milestone in sales growth to $25 billion. We continued to grow our businesses and increase market share by deepening customer loyalty, offering great products and services, and running effective promotions. Recent restructuring in the United States has enabled the Ahold USA divisions to benefit from a more local connection to customers and communities.
“All of the divisions continued to build customer loyalty through more personalized customer communications and by developing their loyalty programs, including expanding the popular Gas Reward program. They also worked to strengthen our own brands, to provide even better choice and value to customers.
“Our divisions launched new technologies to make shopping easier, including a mobile application at Stop & Shop and Giant Landover that lets customers view their circular, loyalty card account, and more, using their smartphones. Stop & Shop New England launched Scan It! Mobile, which enables customers to use smartphones to scan their groceries, tally their orders, receive personalized savings and checkout – while they shop.
“In line with our ambition to expand our geographic reach, Stop & Shop New York Metro acquired five stores in the New Jersey Shore area and three stores on Staten Island. Giant Carlisle opened its first store in the city of Philadelphia. Our online business, Peapod, entered Philadelphia in partnership with Giant Carlisle, and increased its footprint in Manhattan.
“The divisions continued to develop their formats, to give customers an even better shopping experience. Stop & Shop New England opened a new concept supermarket with services that include a pick up point enabling customers to order groceries online and pick them up at the store without leaving their cars. Giant Carlisle introduced a new, smaller format supermarket.
“Our commitment to our communities remained strong. The Ahold USA divisions increased donations to more than $50 million in 2011 for charitable causes that focus on fighting hunger, improving the quality of life for children, and building healthier communities.”