Ahold Delhaize’s brands innovate online and in-store

Jonathan Hawkins
Retail Analyst - Data

Date : 19 August 2019

We round up the latest news from Ahold Delhaize as its subsidiaries bol.com and Delhaize extend their partnership in Belgium. At the same time, Albert Heijn launches a production chain of its private labels online. Meanwhile in the USA, the retailer’s banners roll out new innovative technologies in-store.

Delhaize Belgium and bol.com expand partnership

Ahold Delhaize’s Belgium subsidiaries Delhaize and bol.com are expanding their partnership by launching two new joint initiatives. The initiatives aim to create a more seamless shopping experience.

The first initiative will see bol.com open pick-up points at all Delhaize stores throughout Flanders from September 2019. The two companies will hold their first joint marketing promotion in August 2019 and from November 2019, the initiative will be extended to more Delhaize stores.

As part of the second initiative, Delhaize and bol.com will work together to introduce various initiatives in the run-up to Sinterklaas and Christmas. For example, bol.com is creating a book of toy trends and inspirations for parents, which will be distributed at Delhaize stores throughout Belgium.

Albert Heijn introduces production chain of private labels

Elsewhere in Belgium, Albert Heijn has launched an online map showing a production line of its private label products around the world. Shoppers can now see where products were last processed in the world. The retailer wants to make its production chain as transparent as possible for shoppers.

The map shows 1,200 locations and shoppers can search by country, type of product and supplier. There are currently approximately 11,000 private label products in the range. In 2018, Albert Heijn made its product chains visible for orange juice and eggs using blockchain technology. The online map is the next step in to increasing its transparency.

Source: Albert Heijn

Stop & Shop introduces store robots that announces spillages

First announced in January 2019, Ahold Delhaize USA has introduced robots in Stop & Shop and Giant/Martin’s stores in partnership with Badger Technologies. The robots have been designed to improve in-store efficiencies and safety by identifying hazards such as spillages.

So far, 220 robots have been introduced to stores. The store robots, named Marty, have big googly eyes and can speak Spanish and English. The official release said the robots have also “made trips to local schools to discuss robotics with students to help drive interest in STEM.”

Source: Ahold Delhaize & Retail Business Services and Badger Technologies

Digital signage introduced to stores

Separately, Ahold Delhaize USA is investing in its stores to create a more dynamic and personalised shopping experience. As such, Ahold has introduced digital signage to communicate more detailed product descriptions with shoppers. This helps the company compete on more than a price basis.

Mark Williamson, vice president and head of media partnerships at Peapod Digital Labs, commented, “We've relied on data to help us make connections, and as digital media has really taken shape…a lot of our efforts have revolved around how we use data to talk to our customers digitally”.

The retailer said that installing new technology will drive long-term consumer engagement and perception over value. Williamson added, “It's about what's the utility that we're adding to the shopping experience. Developing a longer-term mentality of what success looks like, understanding what this kind of experience and engagement can mean for your brand long term, is of critical importance.”

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