In separate announcements, Dansk Supermarked has appointed Michael Løve as Netto International's executive vice president, while also noting that it has enjoyed revenue growth of 0.7% in 2016.
Revenue growth in the face of challenging market conditions
Dansk Supermarked said revenue rose by 0.7 %, or DKK727m (US$104.8m), seeing it generate revenue of DKK57.9 bn (US$8.3 bn) in 2016. The company said in its home market it had seen revenue rise by DKK536m (US$77.2m) despite the Danish market facing 'stagnant consumption, growing price sensitivity and a highly competitive environment'.
The retailer said that it had benefited from strong growth in non-food and apparel, which had led to it gain market share in both categories. Dansk said this had been driven by an 'improved turnover at Bilka and føtex and significantly increased online sales through wupti.com, Bilka.dk and føtex.dk'. The company's private label apparel brand, VRS, played a key role in this sales growth providing shoppers with high quality products at competitive prices.
Investment underpinned results, to continue in 2017
Dansk noted that during 2016 it had invested strongly in digital initiatives, while its continued profitability provided the foundations for future investment across its operations. In the short term, Dansk said it was set to launch wupti.com as a marketplace and test a click-and-collect online grocery solution at Bilka, which would support 2016's launch of its ØKO+ subscription scheme. Dansk said the continued investment was part of its aim 'to accelerate [its] e-commerce venture and [its] ambition to become the leading online retailer in Denmark'.
Although Dansk said digitisation would play a major role in its development in the short term, it would be allied to its evolution and development of its brands' product range, which would also involve investment in prices, so shoppers continued to the benefit from its strong quality to price ratio.
Michael Løve appointed as Netto International's new director
Ahead of schedule, Dansk said it was aiming to have an appointment in place by October, the Group has appointed Michael Løve as Netto International's executive vice president. Løve will take on the role from 1 September and will be responsible for the development of the brand across its operations in Denmark, Germany, Poland and Sweden.
Løve was most recently at UK-based, Kingfisher-owned home improvement chain B&Q, while before that he was the head of Co-op Denmark's five formats in the country. Commenting on the appointment, Dansk's CEO, Per Bank, said: "With his strong understanding of consumer trends and quality across a range of countries, he is well suited to focusing on the Netto [and] on driving growth of the Netto brand in all its countries."
Discussing his short term focus, Løve said that "Netto is the market leader in Denmark. This provides me with a great opportunity to work with a format where there is the ambition to continuously expand, revitalise and develop the brand." As part of the announcement, Dansk confirmed that its focus will be to refresh the Netto concept in Denmark, increase the pace of expansion in Sweden and Poland and maintain the brand's strong regional position in Germany.