Delhaize Looking to Step Up New-Store Growth

With investments in transforming the Kash n’ Karry banner to Sweetbay complete, Delhaize Group can devote more of its capital resources to new stores in its Hannaford and Food Lion divisions, said Craig Owens, chief financial officer, Delhaize, speaking at the Goldman Sachs Global Retailing Conference last week.

NEW YORK — With investments in transforming the Kash n’ Karry banner to Sweetbay complete, Delhaize Group can devote more of its capital resources to new stores in its Hannaford and Food Lion divisions, said Craig Owens, chief financial officer, Delhaize, speaking at the Goldman Sachs Global Retailing Conference here last week. Delhaize’s Hannaford banner is looking to add around 10 new stores a year, while Food Lion and its associated banners intend to step up their pace of around 35 new stores a year. Owens said the Belgium-based retailer has not seen evidence of consumers trading down due the economy, and although food inflation was up over the first half of the year and expected to continue, its U.S. banners have been able to pass along the increases to consumers. He added, however, that the Sweetbay banner in Florida is currently facing a highly competitive pricing environment. Price investments there are “costing us more gross margin dollars to drive the kind of sales increases we need.”

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