Ahold Delhaize still has not decided what to with Albert Heijn in Belgium and will only come to a decision early 2019.
An Ahold Delhaize press release last Thursday revealed some information: the merger company emphasized it is uniquely positioned to successfully service the Belgium consumer with two brands, both with advantages that set them apart from the rest.
Delhaize has a proud tradition and a strong reputation when it comes to quality, fresh and local products and an appealing shopping experience. On the other hand, Albert Heijn entered the Belgian market successfully and is valued because of its attractive discounts and unique product range.
“Best of both Delhaize and Albert Heijn"
The group's priority is to turn Delhaize into the Belgian consumer's favourite supermarket and to evolve the brand into the country's best retailer. Product range and customer experience investments should help achieve that goal, all the while taking the brand's rich heritage into consideration. Ahold Delhaize is said to be convinced about the growth potential and it feels the customers will take full advantage of the group's strengths, which will definitely show itself in its product range and online capabilities. "We will bring the best of both Delhaize and Albert Heijn to the Belgian consumer".
As soon as Delhaize is strengthened, the next logical step presents itself: to integrate Ahold Delhaize's supermarket actiities into Delhaize De Leeuw. However, in the meantime, Albert Heijn continues its store expansion across Flanders and in early 2019, the board will decide whether both brands are ready to be merged into 1 single entity. Prior to that decision, Ahold Delhaize still needs to sell thirteen stores in order to be compliant with the merger conditions. It seemed like an impossible job at first, but 8 stores have since been sold to Tanger, Lidl and Carrefour.