Deen Supermarkten to sell stores and exit the industry

Date : 17 February 2021

Jon Wright

Head of Insight - RA EMEA

The family that owns and operates Deen Supermarkten has decided to dissolve itself and sell its stores to three retailers, Albert Heijn, Vomar Voordeelmarkt and DekaMarkt.

Deen Supermarkten to dissolve itself…

Deen’s 80 will be sold to the three companies with 39 going to Albert Heijn, 22 to Vomar and 19 to DekMarkt. Deen’s owners have made the decision following the realisation of the ‘significant effort’ and investment that will be required ‘to remain remain at the forefront of the rapidly changing and competitive food retail market’.

Commenting on the decision, Deen’s chief executive, Leendert van Eck, said: “To be future-proof, significant financial efforts are required... Together with the family we have conducted a careful orientation, over a longer period of time, concerning the future of DEEN.” All companies involved in the transaction said they expected it to conclude in the second half of 2021.

…As consolidation of the market continues

Deen’s decision to sell itself is the third exiting of the industry by a family-owned or relatively small firm in the Netherlands in recent years. From Jumbo buying Agrimarkt, to Albert Heijn buying leases from Marqt and Sligro selling the Emté chain to Jumbo and Coop, the market has seen a quickening pace of consolidation. With Albert Heijn, Jumbo and Coop generating strong sales growth in 2020, alongside the entry of pure play ecommerce retailer Picnic, the Netherlands market is becoming increasingly consolidated.

Jumbo and Superunie to be disappointed by sale process

While Jumbo has been a key driver of consolidation in the country, it will be disappointed to have missed out on acquiring stores from this process. While missing out on gaining new stores, in a country where organic expansion is challenging, will be frustrating for Jumbo, the fact that it enables three key competitors to strengthen their positions in North Holland will accentuate this feeling.

Meanwhile, Netherlands-based buying alliance Superunie, which is part of the pan-European EMD, will be disappointed to be losing a further member. While stores will pass to two of its members, Vomar and DekaMarkt, with nearly half being bought by market leader Albert Heijn, it will lose some share in the market. This continues a period of losing members, which has been offset to a degree by the growth of remaining members.