Netherlands: news in review

Date : 10 July 2017

We round up the latest developments from the Netherlands as Albert Heijn considers the supermarket of the future and prepares to trial checkout-free stores, while Jumbo bids for Sligro’s Emté business.

Albert Heijn considers the supermarket of 2025....

As Albert Heijn gets ready to celebrate its 130th anniversary, it is considering the supermarket of 2025.

Commenting on this, Albert Heijn CEO Wouter Kolk said, ‘Supermarkets will be much more diversified in 2025, with a different approach depending on the suburb or whether they are in urban or rural areas. Experience, convenience and speed are the trends to follow. Soon, everything you want will happen and technology will play a major part I do not know how strong [online’s] growth will be, because customers still value physical stores. I personally think that a supermarket in 2025 will become a source of advice and inspiration when it comes to food’.

Want more inspiration on the topic? IGD has published a new free flagship report, 'the evolution of the physical store' in partnership with CGF. Find out more here.

...As it prepares to trial checkout-free shops

Albert Heijn is also to begin trialling chain is to trial checkout-free stores from 2018. This would allow shoppers to choose their items and exit stores without scanning for products, while payment will be taken automatically. It is expected the trial will take place in the retailers AH to go convenience stores, because ‘speed and convenience are already important at those stores’.

There has been a wave of innovation in this area around the world. Last year, Amazon unveiled its Amazon Go grocery convenience store in Seattle, which uses advanced digital technology to create a ‘Just Walk Out’ shopping experience. Meanwhile, in May, 7-Eleven launched their first convenience store without any staff at Lotte World Tower in Seoul.

Jumbo bids for Sligro’s Emté business

Elsewhere in the market, last week Jumbo and a third party reportedly made a bid for Sligro’s Emté business in the region of €300m, although this has been rejected by Sligro.