Ahold Delhaize CEO Dick Boer Talks Making Grocery Stores "Exciting" In New Interview

Ahold Delhaize CEO Dick Boer Talks Making Grocery Stores "Exciting" In New Interview

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ZAANDAM, NETHERLANDS - Is your supermarket destined to one day become your new entertainment center? If you believe in Ahold Delhaize's CEO Dick Boer vision of the future of grocery retail, the concept may not be too far off from reality. In a new interview with Bloomberg, Boer was asked to give his secrets on surviving in a post-Amazon grocery world. One key strategy? Boosting the entertainment value.

Dick Boer, CEO, Ahold Delhaize“We have to make the store more exciting. The shopping environment needs to be easier, less complex, and more entertaining,” Boer told the business news source. According to Boer’s estimates, as much as 5 percent of grocery purchases will move online by 2025, and enticing customers into brick and mortar stores will be more of a feat than ever.

One way Ahold Delhaize may look to overcome that obstacle is to build what Boer refers to as “gathering spots,” including things like restaurants.

Ahold Delhaize Brand Store Interior

This isn’t the first time a large retailer has brought the idea of restaurants into their supermarket playbook. Kroger announced just earlier this month that it will build Kitchen 1883, dubbed a “fresh new take on American comfort food…feature[ing] a made from scratch menu, hand crafted cocktails, and a family-friendly atmosphere.”

“I worry about all of them,” Kroger CEO McMullen said about his competitors in grocery in an interview with the Wall Street Journal. “And I worry about restaurants. We operate in an industry that is $1.5 trillion in terms of how much people spend on food. If people are eating a meal, we want to get our fair share of that meal.”

Another segment of the food industry that Boer discussed during his Bloomberg interview is what has been on everyone's minds lately—meal kits. With Albertsons buying up meal kit provider Plated, estimated by Bloomberg to be a $200 million deal, Boer suggests that we may see even more meal kit companies partnering with traditional retailers in the future.

“Meal boxes really need the support of a home-delivery system,” he said. “The best way is to have the support of dry groceries.”

Ahold has been offering its own meal kits through online service Peapod for some time now, and Boer believes providing boxes of ingredients this way can be a big plus for a customer already doing their grocery shopping online. The issue, Boer explains, is that they don’t work as well as a standalone product. “It’s too expensive to acquire and keep customers if your only business is delivery meal kits,” he said, according to Bloomberg.

To read Bloomberg’s entire interview with the Ahold Delhaize CEO, check out the link here, and stay tuned to AndNowUKnow for more on the retail industry as it evolves.

Ahold Delhaize