Ahold's current CEO and upcoming CEO of the merger company with Delhaize, Dick Boer, says Albert Heijn has been too reticent over these past few years when it came to its own private labels. He feels the company should add its own private labels to other Ahold formulas more.
He revealed this train of thought during an interview regarding the merger with Delhaize, a Belgian company which has been selling its own private labels all across other formulas for years. That particular tactic is not something overly present at Albert Heijn.
"We have been too reticent in that regard. It may have something to do with pride, that we wanted to make our own mark, although we have started selling AH Basic in the Czech Republic. Why fuss whether the customer understands the meaning of the AH abbreviation? He knows it is a "basic product, a cheaper alternative", he told NRC Handelsblad. According to Boer, Albert Heijn products may soon appear in Delhaize stores and the other way around.
"Own plans will continue"
In that same interview, he added that Delhaize Belgium will continue to exist and that AH will remain the most important brand in the Netherlands. Albert Heijn will also keep opening new stores in Belgium.
"Don't forget that both companies had and continue to have their own plans. We have announced a merger, but that process has just started. In the meantime, we will open new stores in Belgium and Hannaford (part of Delhaize) will open new stores in Boston. Those plans will just continue to unfold."