In an interview in Financieele Dagblad Albert Heijn’s chief executive, Wouter Kolk, has discussed the potential growth opportunities for the company’s ‘To Go’ convenience store format.
New sites available for expansion
Kolk said that To Go could be added in a range of new locations, including offices, universities, train stations and on the Netherlands’ motorways. He noted that Albert Heijn was discussing opportunities with potential partners who operate in these sort of locations.
Kolk said that To Go stores could replace canteens in some locations, given the range of food-for-now and food-to-go options available. The pace of product development, he said, had been ramped up following shopper feedback, enabled by smaller teams working more collaboratively across the organisation to get products onto shelves quicker.
Stores to be ‘cash-free within a few years’
Kolk, in a separate interview with De Telegraaf, noted that within a few years he expected Albert Heijn could operate cash-free stores, mirroring what Amazon has said will be possible with its Amazon Go store. He said the solution was most likely to arrive at Albert Heijn to Go stores first. Meanwhile, he also said that both Albert Heijn and Delhaize have the chance to learn from each other following their merger.