QUINCY, Mass. — Ahold USA here last week said it would consolidate its non-perishable and fresh merchandising functions in its Carlisle, Pa., offices, resulting in cuts at its offices here. The moves are part of a reorganization announced last November.
In addition, the company said it has put in place a new leadership structure for the Ahold USA Retail merchandising and marketing organization. A spokeswoman declined to reveal details about the new structure.
“The overall objective for the merchandising functions is to leverage our buying power with our suppliers and our talent as a team behind the full strength of the divisions and their store banners,” the company said in a prepared statement. “We do anticipate that these changes will result in many support office jobs being changed, eliminated, moved or added. We won't know the extent of changes in the Quincy office until the final organization is completed, which is expected to be done by the end of the year.”
The company said Carlisle and Quincy will continue to operate as the “major hubs” for Ahold USA Retail support office functions, with employees working in both locations.
Responding to local media inquiries, the company said it had “no plans to close the Quincy office or the Freetown [Mass.] distribution center.”
Last November Amsterdam-based Ahold unveiled a broad series of executive changes as it realigned its U.S. Retail business into four divisions: Stop & Shop New England, Stop & Shop Metro New York, Giant-Carlisle, and Giant-Landover.
At Ahold's annual meeting last week, John Rishton, chief executive officer, said the changes in the U.S. mirror the organization of the company's European operations.
“We announced a major change to our organization last year as the next step in becoming more customer focused while simplifying the business to improve efficiency,” he told shareholders. “For the first time, the structures in Europe and the United States now reflect each other.”
The changes come as Giant-Carlisle adds volume from the acquisition of the 25-store Ukrop's Super Markets chain in the Richmond, Va., market (see Page 12 for more on the conversion of these stores to the Martin's banner) and as Stop & Shop expands through the acquisition of five Shaw's locations in Connecticut.
“While the Ukrop's and Shaw's deals in themselves are small, they are a good indication of the opportunities available in the current environment, and they are also evidence of a shift to a new phase for Ahold and our intent to grow both in new and existing markets,” Rishton said at the annual meeting, noting that the company has a “mid-term annual target for growth of 5%.”
In a separate announcement, Giant-Landover said it would transfer its dry grocery warehouse operations to an affiliate of C&S Wholesale Grocers, Keene, N.H. The retailer said it would make transfer arrangements for its Jessup, Md., dry grocery warehouse within 90 days with a potential transfer to the C&S affiliate, to be known as Jessup Logistics, by year-end.
Giant said the move would streamline operations and allow it to focus on the sourcing and supply of perishables.