Sander van der Laan, who previously held top positions at Albert Heijn and Action, is to head German perfume chain Douglas. He is expected to further increase the company’s profitability.
On 1 November, Van der Laan will succeeds Tina Müller at Douglas, the perfume chain that generates 3.1 billion euros in sales with 1,900 stores in Europe. Müller is moving to the board of directors after five years at the head of the retailer.
The strong results Van der Laan achieved at Action convinced the German company: “He has significantly increased Action’s sales and operating profit in a few years. This makes him an ideal candidate to lead Douglas into the next phase,” said Henning Kreke, chairman of the Supervisory Board. The main tasks for the new CEO: adapt the processes to the e-commerce business, fully integrate the pharmacy range and further increase profitability.
Van der Laan worked at Ahold (Delhaize) for more than 16 years, the last few of which as CEO of Albert Heijn. In that position, he brought that supermarket chain to Belgium. He then became CEO of Action, where he expanded operations to ten countries and grew sales from two billion to five billion euros.
Douglas underwent a major restructuring in 2021: it closed a fifth of its 2,400 stores in Europe. The retailer operates in almost two dozen European countries.