What’s Next for Ahold

Oct 24, 2002

By George Anderson

With its stock price taking a hit and no new acquisitions on the horizon, Ahold has to look to itself for answers, according to a Dow Jones Newswires‘ report. David Shriver, an analyst at CSFB says of the retailer, “They need to show they are good retailers and what organic growth they can sustain.”

Ahold has been hit with slower sales in its US operations. The Dutch company that owns Stop & Shop, Giant Foods and others generates two-thirds of sales in the US.

Analysts expressed particular concern over the performance of Ahold’s Bi-Lo chain with stores in the Southeast. The price competition in the market in response to Wal-Mart’s aggressive tactics has taken its toll on traditional grocery operations throughout the region.

Cees Van der Hoeven, chairman, Ahold projects that the chain will produce same store sales increases in the US of one to two percent this year.

Moderator’s Comment: What do you think of Ahold’s strategy
in the US and the chain’s prospects in the near and midterm?

There’s no doubt that Ahold’s US businesses face increased
competition and not just in Bi-Lo’s marketing area. The company strategy of
expanding throughout food distribution channels is solid. Now, it all comes
down to execution. [George
Anderson – Moderator

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