As part of that move to what the company calls a brand-centric structure, Ahold USA’s two Stop & Shop divisions — Stop & Shop New York Metro and Stop & Shop New England — are being combined into a single organization.
Also critical to that brand-centric strategy is the creation of Retail Business Services LLC, an independent business that was established to provide support services to the local brands of both Ahold USA and Delhaize America. Roger Wheeler, a 20-year retail industry veteran, was named president of the business. Wheeler had previously been leading the integration of the companies’ U.S. operations.
Retail Business Services will leverage its scale to drive synergies and provide industry-leading expertise, insights and analytics to the Ahold USA brands and Delhaize America brands to support their respective strategies, according to the company, which noted that in addition to commercial support, Retail Business Services will provide the chains with financial services, not-for-resale procurement, legal services, information technology, and people systems and services.
“We’re focused on developing really entrepreneurial brands that have a razor sharp focus on connecting with their customers in a localized and personalized way,” said Ahold USA chief operating officer Kevin Holt, “while at the same time the Retail Business Service makes certain we get the scale and leverage of being a $40 billion organization.”
Delhaize America acting chief operating officer Frans Muller pointed to Food Lion’s investments in store remodels and in the expansion of its produce (including locally sourced products), center store and deli departments, and the same-store sales and volume gains they’ve produced, as demonstrating the value of Ahold Delhaize’s new approach.
Muller added that the new brand-centric corporate structure Ahold Delhaize is creating will build on the experience of the past six months, in which “our teams of people have been coming together nicely, sharing best practices and coming up with solutions that represent the best of both worlds. It’s been a very inspirational and exciting time for our two companies, which are coming together as one.”
The companies announced that they are keeping many of their executive leaders in their current roles. At Ahold USA, Mark McGowan will continue to serve as president of Stop & Shop, Tom Lenkevich will be president of Giant/Martin’s, Gordon Reid will serve as president of Giant Food, and Jennifer Carr-Smith will be president of Peapod.
At Delhaize America, Meg Ham will continue to serve as president of Food Lion, and Mike Vail will be president of Hannaford.
When the brand-centric reorganization of the company is complete in early 2018, the following executives will report to Royal Ahold Delhaize: Greg Amoroso, executive vice president and U.S. chief financial officer, and Linn Evans, executive vice president and U.S. chief legal officer.
Reporting to Retail Business Services will be: Kathy Russello, executive vice president, people systems and services; J.J. Fleeman, executive vice president, commercial services and strategy; Chris Lewis, executive vice president, supply chain; and Paul Scorza, executive vice president and chief information officer.