Dutch retailer Ahold has launched the La Place restaurant formula in the United States, under the name Bfresh. The move is surprising as La Place's equally Dutch parent company, V&D, is also trying to get the up and running in the United States.
It is rather remarkable to see two major Dutch retailers collaborate like this, but the deal came to be rather accidentally: one of Ahold's American subsidiaries, Fresh Formats, approached the people from Little Kitchen (as V&D's American version of La Place is called) and that eventually led to this.
Fresh Formats was created to trial new formulas on a smaller scale in the United States, which accidentally brought Little Kitchen and V&D into view. Bfresh will not be connected to any of Ahold's other American activities, which means it will not sell products from its other chains.
Analyst at Rabobank, Patrick Roquas, is very enthusiastic about the first Bfresh store: "Bfresh looks promising, something with a lot of gall. You get the feeling something is happening", he concluded.