Perfume and cosmetics chain Douglas is set to grow substantially under Sander van der Laan, its new CEO since October. The former Action and Albert Heijn CEO now wants to establish the chain in Belgium and other countries.
The channel does not matter
The Covid pandemic hit Douglas hard: losses rose to the hundreds of millions, with the chain having to close 640 of its 2,000 shops across Europe. Van der Laan wants to improve profitability by focusing more on cost-cutting, standardisation, IT and logistics, but this does not change the fact that he feels the chain must also grow again now the pandemic is over. In three years’ time, sales should increase by 1.4 billion euros to reach 5 billion, he told Lebensmittel Zeitung.
The CEO wants to invest in existing shops and also move into new countries, including Belgium and Slovenia. Online or offline does not really matter to the CEO: Douglas proved resilient on the omnichannel front during the pandemic, so that is where the company is now focusing. “The customer decides which channel the growth comes from”, Van der Laan says.