SALISBURY, N.C. -- Delhaize America is looking forward to an upturn in the fortune of supermarket stocks.
nd chief executive officer, said the supermarket sector as a whole "has not fared well in today's financial markets.
"However, our strategy of combining prudent overall growth and consistently strong performance will enable us to be among the best-positioned companies in our industry when the cycle turns more favorable."
Delhaize America is a holding company for Brussels-based Delhaize Le Lion, whose U.S. operations consist of Food Lion here and Kash n' Karry Food Stores, Tampa, Fla. The company is awaiting clearance from the Federal Trade Commission to complete its acquisition of Hannaford Bros. Co., Scarborough, Maine, which is expected sometime before the end of June.
"This is a strategic acquisition that will help fuel our future growth and position Delhaize America as a premier multiregional U.S. food retailer for the 21st century," the executives wrote.
To increase retail square footage this year by approximately 8%, excluding the Hannaford stores, compared with an 11% increase last year.
To continue to use private label as a key part of its strategy. Private label accounts for approximately 16% of total sales, the report indicated.
To introduce this year a new private-label produce line: Farmer's Garden Produce at its Food Lion stores and Kash n' Karry Fresh Produce in its Florida stores.
To use Kash n' Karry as the company's exclusive growth vehicle in central and southwest Florida. The company converted 35 Food Lions to the Kash n' Karry banner last year.
To explore possible installation of pharmacies at Food Lion stores, using The Medicine Shoppe format that was installed at 49 Kash n' Karry stores last year. Food Lion currently has pharmacies at only two locations.
To continue to promote the Food Lion MVP loyalty card, which is used by 11 million households and which accounts for 75% of sales, and the newer Kash n' Karry Preferred Customer Club card, which is carried by 1 million households.