Dutch retailer Ahold Delhaize hopes to double its global online sales to €7 billion by 2021 through investment in new IT infrastructure and fulfilment capabilities.
The company, which operates across Europe and the US and participates in joint ventures in Indonesia, announced the new strategy at a capital markets day in New York on 13 November.
Part of the strategy will focus on the US, where Ahold Delhaize will invest in building an integrated omnichannel platform for each brand, extend click and collect and increase the availability of faster delivery options.
As for Europe, European CEO Wouter Kolk (pictured) cited the company’s “unique position to win” and claimed that the company’s brands formed the leading retail ecosystem in the Belgium, Netherlands and Luxembourg region. For example, he outlined bol.com’s estimated 2018 growth of 30% compared to the market’s 14% and ah.nl’s 55% share of online fresh sales in its market.
The presentation then moved onto how the retailer planned to “widen [its] lead”. For bol.com, which sells a range of general goods, the priorities are investing in a new mechanised fulfilment centre and expanding fulfilment and service solutions for the site’s partners. It also plans to expand the benefits available through its Select subscription programme. For grocer ah.nl, the company will also invest in its last mile fulfilment capabilities.
Other Europe-wide initiatives will include the increased use of data and analytics, as well as expanding recent efforts in the omnichannel arena. For example, supermarket Delhaize has experimented with new store formats in Belgium.
The retailer’s aim is to fund the plans itself through a combination of cash flow and savings generated by its ‘Save for Our Customers’ cost cutting strategy.
Frans Muller, President & CEO of Ahold Delhaize, said: “In an industry that’s undergoing rapid change, fuelled by shifting customer behaviour and preferences, we will focus on growth by investing in our stores, omnichannel offering and technological capabilities which will enrich the customer experience and increase efficiencies.
“Ultimately, this will drive growth by making everyday shopping easier, fresher and healthier for our customers.”
The announcement comes the week after Ahold Delhaize released its Q3 results, which saw it increase net sales in the quarter to €15.3 billion, up 3.6%. Net consumer online sales were up 27.6%.