Bol.com is a superpower in the Benelux e-commerce sector, but its exact figures have long been a well-kept secret. In order to support its own share price, owner Ahold Delhaize has been considering more openness about the figures in recent months, but for fear of Amazon's expansion to the Netherlands, this plan has been abandoned.
Ahold Delhaize shares very little information about the results of its web shop: it does divulge the evolution of sales, but very little is known about the profitability of the web store. In 2018, however, the group reported a positive EBITDA. According to local newspaper FD, the top of the group did consider highlighting the performance of the online store more. It hoped this could boost Ahold Delhaize’s ailing stock market price and better protect the company against unwanted takeover attempts. Moreover, there are often bonuses linked to a higher share price.
In the meantime however, the company has shelved its plan to provide more openness. Amazon’s arrival has everything to do with that: Ahold Delhaize does not want to make its American competitor all the wiser and does not want to lose face. "The question is whether bol.com can win against Amazon. If Ahold were to emphasise bol.com’s performance too much, it would make itself vulnerable. What if things do not go well later?", the newspaper quotes an anonymous business banker.
In recent months, bol.com has taken a lot of measures to prepare for the arrival of the American juggernaut: it has expanded its range with women’s and men’s fashion and also announced the reduction of sales commissions of articles cheaper than 20 euros. In doing so, the platform hopes to further broaden its product range and become more attractive to partners and consumers.