Netherlands: Albert Heijn, Sligro and Coop

Date : 25 July 2017

We round up the latest developments from the Netherlands as Albert Heijn introduces an AR product scanner, Sligro reports its first half results and Coop extends its delivery reach.

Albert Heijn introduces AR product scanner

Albert Heijn is introducing an AR product scanner app, offering ‘all product information and inspiration at your fingertips’. This is delivered through ‘augmented reality information about ingredients, nutritional values, allergens, recipes and origin of AH branded products’.

Customer-centric app starts with 35 products

Commenting on the development, Marit van Egmond, Director of Merchandising & Sourcing at Albert Heijn said, ‘Customers find it increasingly important to know what products they buy from us and where they come from. But not only: they are also looking for tasty recipes. Of course, we all have this information … With the help of new technologies, we now provide information at your fingertips while shopping. We start with 35 products and scale this amount in the coming time'.

Sligro reports H1 sales: +5.9%

Elsewhere in the market, Sligro has released its 2017 H1 results, reporting that sales increased by 5.9% to €1.43bn, although net profit remained level at €28m. Food service sales increased by 8.3%, driven by acquisitions of ISPC, a Belgian wholesaler and Tintelingen, an online Christmas gift specialist company.

Commenting on the results, CEO Koen Slippens, said, ‘As expected, improvements in employment levels and consumer confidence have translated into growing markets for both food service and food retail and this contributed to higher sales in both our business units in the course of the half-year’.

Sligro seeks partner for EMTÉ supermarkets

Separately, Sligro has announced it is looking for a partner for its EMTÉ supermarket chain of 131 stores. The format accounted for around 30% of Sligro's net sales in 2016.

Sligro’s Finance Chief Rob van der Sluijs said, ‘A potential partnership should prove itself on the short-term so that we can move forward. If that’s not feasible, we will move on to the sale option. We received interest from almost every player in the Dutch market. We know everyone very well and we will start formal discussions after the summer’.

Coop broadens online delivery reach

Meanwhile, following the launch of its new online platform at the end of last year, Coop Netherlands is broadening its delivery reach for a ten-week period. The retailer will continue to develop its service in 2017 including enhancements to its Christmas order service, which launched last year.

Commenting on its partnership with Incentro, Mieke Kreunen, E-business manager at Coop said, ‘We hope … to attract new customers with an attractive online proposition. The partnership with Incentro makes it possible to take even greater steps’.