Market overview Macro trends Lifestyle trends Industry trends With our Reshaping Retail strategy we are getting ahead of these trends Governance Ahold at a glance I Business review Our Reshaping Retail strategy is built around addressing the trends that are most important to our customers and our business. Economics The macroeconomic situation in our markets is improving. Purchasing power - especially in the middle income groups of our core customer base - is recovering. However, shoppers continue to be focused on value, price and promotions. To help our customers, we continuously work to lower our cost base as part of our Simplicity pillar, so that we can invest in price, value, and the products and services we offer. Demographics We are seeing limited population growth in our markets and an aging consumer base. There is increasing diversification, not only of ethnicity but also in other areas, including: household composition, affluence and urban versus suburban. For us, this presents new opportunities to diversify our offering to best meet the needs of local communities, becoming both a better place to shop and a better neighbor. Convenience Many of our customers have busy lifestyles and increasingly demand convenience. They want food that is easy to prepare, personalized offers and a convenient, flexible shopping experience. As part of our "broadening our offering" pillar and to ensure we fulfill these customer needs, we offer, among other things, an increasing range of convenience meals and fresh-cut produce, as well as multiple delivery options for online orders. Health and well-being Customers are increasingly aware of the positive impact of food on a healthy lifestyle. They are also becoming more knowledgeable about lifestyle- related diseases, allergies, and other health conditions that may be affected by diet. Through our recipes (both in-store and online), our broad Fresh offering, and our increasing focus on providing health advice through dietitians in our U.S. stores, we have an opportunity to help customers make healthier choices, while giving them access to affordable products that are good for them and their families. This makes us both a better place to shop and a better neighbor. Transparency and sustainability Food is safer than ever today, and customers have a greater interest in what they eat and where it comes from. People are increasingly aware of the impact they can have on society and the environment through their buying decisions. They want retailers to help them make responsible decisions, and rely on them to ensure the integrity of the supply chain where possible. Our new Albert Heijn Organic range makes it easier for our customers to make such decisions. Connection and communities People are increasingly searching for a feeling of community and personal connection. They find this not only in their local neighborhoods, but also through social media and online and off ine communities around common interests. Retailers have a unique opportunity to connect individuals and communities in many ways - whether that is through community centers based in stores, or through the personal relationships they build with customers in an online environment. The MyBonus program at Albert Heijn is a prime example of this kind of personal relationship building, aimed at increasing customer loyalty. Competition We are seeing increasingly diversified competition, both on the premium and discount ends of the retail spectrum, and new competition from outside of the traditional food retail industry. Customers are dividing their shopping trip over multiple stores for specific shopping needs or occasions. Retailers continue to evolve as consumers also diversify and change the way they shop, both online and offline, Online and mobile Grocery e-commerce is still a relatively small part of the overall retail food market, but it is growing rapidly. Online will be a key component of growth for retailers in years to come. Mobile apps are creating new opportunities for sales growth and an improved customer experience in online shopping. Customers are more in control of the shopping experience than ever, with more product information at their fingertips and the ability to match prices while they shop. With our existing online business and strategic focus on online retail under our "broadening our offering" pillar, we are well-positioned to capture this opportunity further in the coming years. We are working to provide quality products at affordable prices for our value-focused customers. We are making continuous innovations in our assortment, to offer the right products, including a wide range of fresh, healthy and responsible choices. Our own-brand ranges are helping us do this, while building loyalty to our brands. We have friendly and helpful associates of many different backgrounds to welcome our diverse customer base. And our omni-channel offering enables people with busy lifestyles, or those who are less mobile, to still benefit from our quality products, brought to them through new delivery channels.

Jaarverslagen | 2014 | | pagina 89