Latest News
News Feature image

We round up the latest innovations from Ahold Delhaize as it invests in ecommerce, health-focused solutions and ranges in the US, Belgium and the Netherlands as it looks to drive its ‘Leading Together strategy’ across its operations.

More News

Over the last 12 months, Lidl has expanded its online presence from four countries to 11, including grocery ecommerce operations in five countries. With the discounter accelerating its online expansion we look in-depth at its presence across Europe and the US.

Lidl’s online presence

Since the beginning of 2019, Lidl has launched grocery ecommerce operations in three countries and a non-grocery range online in Poland. The pace of its online store openings is accelerating in Europe, aligned with its current strategy to offer more digital solutions to shoppers. Lidl uses online non-grocery, as an extension of its physical stores, providing additional ranges to its shoppers.

The map below summarises Lidl’s online presence for its grocery and non-grocery ranges across Europe and the US.


Partnerships for online food delivery

In most markets where it offers online food, Lidl partners with well-established online supermarkets, such as Lola Market in Spain and Boxed in the US, instead of managing the process itself. This is an efficient and safe way to offer a new service to shoppers thanks to very limited investment required.

With online supermarkets managing orders and deliveries, Lidl doesn’t have to change its supply chain or invest in new facilities as products will be picked in store. These partnerships will also provide Lidl with a better understanding of shoppers and potentially improve its ranges and services.

In Italy and Spain, Lidl partnered with companies managing online grocery for other retailers, enabling it to also compete with these retailers, online. In every market where it offers online grocery, Lidl uses the same strategy. It tests the delivery in a limited area, usually a major city, before expanding to other cities. Tests in Belgium and Italy are proving successful and there are plans to expand the services to more cities.  

Future online developments in Europe

Earlier in May 2019, Schwarz Group, Lidl’s parent company, stated that investments and developments in digital will be an area of focus in 2019. Other markets are likely to follow, Lidl France has already mentioned it has plans to expand its ecommerce operations by 2020.

Currently the UK is the only major European market where Lidl doesn’t have any online presence. With all other major retailers offering online solutions, it appears as a country to watch for Lidl’s next non-grocery online store.

On top of these online stores’ developments, Lidl also invests in digital and payment solutions. It currently tests new payment solutions such as SHOP&GO in Paris and self-checkouts in several European cities.

On the digital side, Lidl continues the expansion of its loyalty programme, Lidl Plus, now available in five countries, after being launched in 2018. Following the success of the app in the different markets, we anticipate other countries will launch it by the end of 2019 as part of the discounter’s global strategy to strengthen its relationship with shoppers.

IGD can support all your online needs. For short-term success, we can advise you on how to sell more online. For the longer-term, we can help you prepare for the future and the new opportunities e-commerce brings, such as omnichannel, rapid delivery and social commerce. For more information, get in touch with Milos Ryba, Head of Retail Strategic projects, [email protected].

Keep up-to-date with the latest discount channel developments. Sign up for our channel specific newsletter. For subscribers wanting to know more about Lidl, please have a look at our Strategic Outlook for 2019.


Maxime Delacour

Senior Retail Analyst - Discount

If you have a specific business challenge or training requirement we can put together something just for you.

As Lidl continues its rapid expansion across Europe and the US, it is looking to build stronger relationship with its shoppers. As Lidl invests in its stores and expands the ranges and services it offers, identify your opportunities with the retailer as we explore the latest strategic priorities that will influence its future performance.

Netherlands-based Albert Heijn, part of Ahold Delhaize, has provided more details about its partnership with Hema and announced it is to use AI as it looks to reduce food waste.

AI-driven discounts to be driven by multiple factors

Albert Heijn said the trial of the AI-driven solution, which will lead to dynamic pricing across a range of fresh products, will not only be driven by best-before dates. The algorithm will also consider other factors, including location, bonus offers, weather conditions, historical sales trends and stock levels, before it sets the most appropriate discount for each product.

Once the discount has been implemented, the electronic price tags are updated to show two prices: the regular price and the discounted price. Albert Heijn said that they dynamic pricing means prices can be reduced further throughout the day as the expiration date approaches. The trial is being conducted in one store, in Zandvoot, in its poultry and fish departments. Albert Heijn is running the trial under advice from Wasteless, an anti-waste company that aims to ensure that no unsaleable products are left over at the end of the day.

Hema and Albert Heijn set out trial store locations

After first announcing the plan to trial two pilot stores together, Hema and Albert Heijn have said they will be in Oudegracht, Utrecht, and Beursplein, Rotterdam. The retailers have said they aim to open the stores during the autumn. The new agreement will support Albert Heijn’s expansion and development plans to open convenience stores and food-to-go-focused stores in key urban areas throughout the Netherlands.

The stores will be branded Hema but will stock a full range of fresh and non-perishable groceries from Albert Heijn. There will be separate self-scan checkouts from Albert Heijn and Hema, but shoppers will be able to use either.

Looking for more innovations?

Subscribers can access the latest innovations we have seen on a global basis in our Innovation tracker.

Netherlands-based Ahold Delhaize said net sales had risen 1.5%, at constant exchange rates, to €15.9bn. Its results were driven by the performance of its home market, where sales rose 3.5%, and its ecommerce operations, where sales increased by 17.9% at constant exchange rates, while net consumer online sales were up by 25.0% at constant exchange rates.

Leading Together strategy continues to evolve

As part of the results announcement, Ahold Delhaize highlighted the launch of its new purpose: eat well, save time, live better. Discussing the purpose, the retailer’s president and CEO, Frans Muller, said: “These are the guiding principles in everything we do as we execute on our strategy. Throughout our businesses we help our customers make healthier choices. Innovative solutions, both in-store and online, make shopping more convenient and less time-consuming. And to enable our customers to live better, we continue to support the local communities they live in.

The numbers…

By reporting segment, Ahold Delhaize said:

  • United States: net sales +1.1%, online sales +13.0%, comparable sales +1.2% (or 2.2% adjusted for Easter’s timing)
  • The Netherlands: net sales +3.5%, online sales +20.2%, comparable sales +2.9% (or 3.5% adjusted for the timing of New Year and Easter)
  • Belgium: net sales fell 2.2%, online sales +14.7%, comparable sales decreased by 2.3% (or 0.3% adjusted for the difference in opening days and Easter’s timing)
  • Central and Southeastern Europe: net sales +1.7%, comparable sales +0.8% (or 1.3% adjusted for Easter’s timing)

Operational highlights:

By reporting segment, the retailer highlighted the following developments in the quarter:

United States:

  • Remodelled stores: Food Lion invested US$158m to update 115 supermarkets in South Carolina and Virginia to its Easy, Fresh and Affordable design
  • Giant Direct launched: in partnership with Peapod Digital Labs
  • New podcast added: Giant Food published the podcast Nutrition Made Easy to inform customers and associates who want to eat better
  • Loyalty programme expanded: at its Hannaford banner, 1.2m shoppers signed up to its new and personalised loyalty programme


  • Prijsfavorieten ‘Price Favourites’ launched: in the Netherlands, the retailer rolled out a range of more than 1,000 fresh and non-perishable products at everyday low prices. It said it would continue to expand the range during 2019
  • Online investment: at both, where it announced plans to open its fifth fulfilment centre in Q3 2019, and expanded its use of smaller trucks to make city deliveries, and, where consumer sales rose by 35.2%, Ahold Delhaize underlined the spending it was making in its online operations
  • Digital expansion: at Delhaize the retailer launched its new scan and pay app, ‘YesWeScan’. For more on the app, and other digital innovations, read our news story here

Positive results enable it to confirm 2019 outlook

Following the results, Ahold Delhaize said its positive Q1 performance enabled it to confirm its 2019 targets of:

  • Realising €750m of gross synergies, which will see €500m in net synergies flowing from the merging of Ahold and Delhaize
  • Saving €540m in 2019 as part of the €1.8bn Save for Our Customers programme, which will run from 2019 to 2021
  • Free cash flow will be at around €1.8bn.


This in-depth guide to Netherlands explores the key trends in grocery retail and the growth strategies of the leading retailers in the country.
Albert Heijn is experimenting with dynamic pricing on chicken and fish products to help reduce food waste
Be inspired by the latest store concepts from Ahold Delhaize, 7 Eleven, Casino, SPAR, Musgrave, Coop Schweiz, Co-op and Fresh the Good Food Market. This report covers some of the best examples of food-to-go development in small formats that we've seen in our travels over the past six months.
View all presentations

Key presentation

This in-depth guide to the Netherlands explores the key trends in grocery retail and the growth strategies of the leading retailers in the country.

London | Dublin | Amsterdam
Let us supercharge your innovation strategy in our one day sessions across major European retail and food-to-go hotspots.

We've developed a single, universal methodology for calculating food and consumer goods retail data, supported by our programme of primary and secondary research. This makes Retail Analysis the most reliable and robust source available for data of this type. 

Get the latest industry news and insights straight to your inbox with our range of newsletters.

We've grouped all the latest European retail news, store visits, retailer profiles and downloadable presentations together in one place.