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Ahold outlines strategy to grow e-commerce, add c-stores and Belgium presence

Amsterdam -- A Monday report by Bloomberg said that Royal Ahold NV will grow its online business, expand its store count in Belgium and add 150 convenience operations in an effort to ramp up sales.

The Dutch owner of Stop & Shop is also on a cost-cutting mission, saying it will reduce expense by $473 million over three years via supply chain improvements and a reduction in logistics and overhead expense.

New CEO Dick Boer, who took office in March, said that at least 50 supermarkets will open in Belgium in the next five years, while the company aims to triple online sales to $2 billion and open at least 150 convenience stores in Europe. The moves come as Ahold expects sales growth to slow to 1.7% this fiscal year from 5.8% growth in 2010 and 8.8% growth in 2009.

To boost online sales, the company is testing pick-up points in Europe and the U.S., so customers can order online and collect groceries at designated locations.
 

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