The company said Monday that the move reflects ongoing efforts to unite and streamline the U.S. operations of Ahold Delhaize, formed last July with the closing of the merger of Delhaize Group and Ahold N.V.
The merger brought together Delhaize America’s Food Lion and Hannaford supermarket chains with Ahold USA’s Stop & Shop, Giant Food, Giant Food Stores and Martin’s Food Markets grocery chains, as well as its Peapod online grocery delivery service.
“Having a single brand organizational structure dedicated to Stop & Shop will strengthen the brand and will ensure it can better leverage its brand to serve the unique needs of customers in the different markets that Stop & Shop serves,” the company said in a statement.
In December, the companies announced the creation of Retail Business Services LLC, an independent business 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.
In his new position, Wheeler will focus on helping the U.S. brands build on “their leading positions in their respective markets and deliver even more for customers, according to the company. “Each of the brands will have distinctive commercial strategies that are tailored to local markets with dedicated resources, including category merchandising, assortment, pricing, promotions, marketing and format teams. This brand-centric structure, which we expect to be complete by early 2018, will better position the Ahold USA brands and Delhaize America brands to be even more closely connected to their customers and communities.”
“Today’s announcements will further strengthen Food Lion and Hannaford’s strong brands,” Franz Muller, acting chief operating officer of Delhaize America, said in a statement on Monday. “The brand-centric structure will enable our Food Lion and Hannaford associates to build even stronger relationships with existing customers and communities in the markets they serve, and win new customers to grow their businesses.”
“Positioning the Ahold USA brands to be even closer to their customers will not only help them deepen their connection in their local communities and win in their markets, it will ensure that associates have exciting and rewarding opportunities to make meaningful contributions to each brand’s success,” stated Kevin Holt, COO of Ahold USA.
Holt also announced that the following Ahold USA brand executive leaders would continue in their roles: Mark McGowan, president of Stop & Shop; Tom Lenkevich, president of Giant/Martin’s; Gordon Reid, president of Giant Food; and Jennifer Carr-Smith, president of Peapod.
Muller announced the following Delhaize America brand executive leaders will also continue in their roles: Meg Ham, president of Food Lion, and Mike Vail, president of Hannaford.
The companies reiterated that they would maintain their current office locations. These are Shop & Shop, in Quincy, Mass.; Food Lion, in Salisbury, N.C.; Giant/Martin’s, in Carlisle, Pa.; Hannaford, in Scarborough, Maine; Giant Food, in Landover, Md.; and Peapod, in Skokie, Ill.
When the completion of the merger was announced, Ahold Delhaize said it had roughly 2,000 stores in the United States. The company, too, is one of the nation’s largest retail pharmacy operators by location, with more than 700 pharmacies.