News of the division consolidation came as Ahold USA and Delhaize America announced plans “to further strengthen their brands to ensure they will remain customer-focused, close to their communities and positioned to win in their markets.”
This follows the merger of Ahold and Delhaize Group in July 2016, which created the largest grocery retailer group on the U.S. East Coast, and “furthers its strategy centered on building great local brands while capturing the benefits of scale.”
As part of this strategy, Ahold USA and Delhaize America in December announced the creation of Retail Business Services LLC, led by Roger Wheeler, president. Retail Business Services will leverage its scale to drive synergies and best practices as well as provide industry-leading expertise, insights and analytics to the Ahold USA brands and Delhaize America brands to support their respective strategies, according to the company. Services provided by Retail Business Services, in addition to commercial support, will include financial services, not-for-resale procurement, legal services, information technology, and people systems and services.
With the creation of Retail Business Services, the Stop & Shop, Giant Foods, Giant/Martin’s, Peapod, Food Lion and Hannaford brands will be able to dedicate full focus on building on their leading positions in their respective markets and delivering even more for their customers, the release says. Each of the brands will have distinctive commercial strategies that are tailored to local markets with dedicated resources, including category merchandising, assortment, pricing, promotions, marketing and format teams. The company reports that this “brand-centric structure,” which is expected to be complete by early 2018, will better position the Ahold USA brands and Delhaize America brands to be even more closely connected to their customers and communities.
“Positioning the Ahold USA brands to be even closer to their customers will not only help them deepen their connection in their local communities and win in their markets, it will ensure that associates have exciting and rewarding opportunities to make meaningful contributions to each brand’s success,” said Ahold USA COO Kevin Holt.
Added Frans Muller, acting interim COO of Delhaize America, “Today’s announcements will further strengthen Food Lion and Hannaford’s strong brands. The brand-centric structure will enable our Food Lion and Hannaford associates to build even stronger relationships with existing customers and communities in the markets they serve, and win new customers to grow their businesses.”
Delhaize America and Ahold USA brands will maintain their respective office locations:
• Stop & Shop, Quincy, Massachusetts
• Food Lion, Salisbury, North Carolina
• Giant/Martin’s, Carlisle, Pennsylvania
• Hannaford, Scarborough, Maine
• Giant Food, Landover, Maryland
• Peapod, Skokie, Illinois
Ahold USA brands and Delhaize America brands that have regional support offices now will continue to have brand support offices throughout their market areas. In addition, Ahold USA brand executive leaders will continue in their roles:
• Mark McGowan, president, Stop & Shop
• Tom Lenkevich, president, Giant/Martin’s
• Gordon Reid, president, Giant Food
• Jennifer Carr-Smith, president, Peapod
“I’m very excited about the brand-centric model at Ahold USA and its brands, which puts the customer at the center of all we do,” said Holt. “Mark, Tom, Gordon and Jennifer all have proven track records and they are the right leaders for our great local brands.”
Delhaize America brand executive leaders will continue in their roles:
• Meg Ham, president, Food Lion
• Mike Vail, president, Hannaford
“I am extremely pleased that Meg and Mike will continue to lead and drive the successful strategies of Food Lion and Hannaford,” said Muller. “We have every confidence in the continued success of Food Lion and Hannaford under their leadership.”
In addition, the following executive appointments in the U.S. will become effective when the “brand-centric organization” is complete—
Reporting to Royal Ahold Delhaize:
• Greg Amoroso, EVP, U.S. CFO
• Linn Evans, EVP, U.S. chief legal officer
Reporting to Retail Business Services:
• Kathy Russello, EVP, people systems and services
• JJ Fleeman, EVP, commercial services and strategy
• Chris Lewis, EVP, supply chain
• Paul Scorza, EVP, chief information officer
The Ahold USA brands and Delhaize America brands will continue to operate as independent companies in the U.S.
Ahold USA’s divisions operate approximately 780 supermarkets with 115,000 associates in 14 states and the District of Columbia along with Peapod e-commerce grocery shopping/delivery services.
Delhaize America’s Food Lion and Hannaford banners operate more than 1,200 stores along the East Coast—in 16 states—with more than 96,000 full- and part-time associates.