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Food Lion, Hannaford expected to gain market share this year

BY Michael Johnsen

Ahold Delhaize on Wednesday reported that fourth quarter sales performance at Ahold USA was in line with the previous quarter, with comparable sales growth of 0.6% (excluding gasoline). Market share is expected to be stable compared to last year. Giant Carlisle reported a strong quarter, with new Beer & Wine locations driving increased transactions.

At Delhaize America, comparable sales grew by 1.5%, with both Food Lion and Hannaford reporting positive comparable sales growth, and market share is expected to increase compared to last year. Food Lion continued to benefit from the roll-out of the “Easy, Fresh and Affordable” program in the Charlotte market last year and the Richmond and Greensboro markets this year.

These are the first quarterly results of the collective Ahold and Delhaize banners under the direction of CEO Kevin Holt. Ahold Delhaize last month named Kevin Holt CEO of its newly minted Ahold Delhaize USA division, which will serve as the parent company for all of Ahold Delhaize’s U.S. companies, including its local brands, Stop & Shop, Food Lion, Giant, Hannaford, Giant/Martin’s and Peapod.

“I’m excited that we are moving into this next phase where we can focus on further strengthening our brands and winning in our markets,” Holt said in December. “Ahold Delhaize USA and its U.S. brands are well positioned to continue to drive growth and innovation and meet the evolving needs of customers, both in stores and online.”

The newly merged grocers certainly move fast. Giant Food earlier this month was named the best grocer in Pennsylvania, Food Lion has instituted delivery in almost one-third of its store base and Hannaford launched a new loyalty program focused on boosting its own brand penetration.

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From this angle: What Toys ‘R Us’ recent closures signal

BY Seth Mendelson

Toys ‘R Us did something that had to be done. The beleaguered chain, now in bankruptcy protection and pretty much directionless, announced on Tuesday that it was shuttering about 180 stores across the country.

That should have caught no one by surprise and expect more closely in coming months and years as it tries to survive against more adept competitors, both digital and traditional.

But the real news here is that Toys ‘R Us officials have finally figured out that their decision nearly 30 years ago to create Babies ‘R Us was a short-term gain that resulted in a long-term loss. In the company’s glory days—also when everything from diapers to toys were sold under one roof—the company was able to get consumers into the store for their lower-margin baby needs and upsell them on higher-margin toys and games.

Creating two separate companies took away that advantage. Now, leadership is putting the two divisions back together—where possible—again, hoping to re-create the synergies between babies, older children and their moms.

A step in the right direction, but it may just be a decade or two too late. Time will tell if Toys ‘R Us will survive.

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Hannaford highlights own brands in new loyalty program

BY Michael Johnsen

Ahold Delhaize’s Hannaford banner announced Monday the company-wide launch of My Hannaford Rewards, a reinvention of grocery store loyalty programs that rewards customers for buying own-brand items while leaving already low prices untouched.

Shoppers who choose to participate earn a 2% reward on every own-brand item purchased, including fresh meat, seafood and deli items, as well as thousands of packaged products across the store. About 5,200 fresh and center-store items qualify for rewards in an averaged-sized Hannaford store.

Shoppers also will receive personalized coupon offers for the national and regional-brand products they buy.

“My Hannaford Rewards is a new way to thank customers, with a 2% reward on own-brand items and coupon offers that are meaningful to them as individuals,” said Mike Vail, brand president for the Scarborough, Maine-based grocer. “The things that people love about Hannaford – including great fresh food, low everyday prices and excellent service – are our foundation. My Hannaford Rewards builds on that to provide customers with additional benefits for the shopping they do each week.”

The program is different from traditional supermarket loyalty programs because in-store prices remain the same for all customers whether they enroll in My Hannaford Rewards or not. By contrast, club models or two-tiered loyalty programs require customers to subscribe to access a better level of store pricing.

My Hannaford Rewards, which began as a test with associates last year and later as an 11-store pilot in Vermont, is now available in all 181 Hannaford stores in five states in the Northeast.

 

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