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Ahold Delhaize USA forms e-commerce company

Peapod Digital Labs to spearhead retail grocer’s omnichannel initiatives

Leveraging its Peapod online grocery banner, Ahold Delhaize USA has created a digital solutions company to drive its e-commerce initiatives.

Called Peapod Digital Labs, the unit will be led by JJ Fleeman, who was named president of the new entity as well as chief e-commerce officer of Ahold Delhaize USA. Fleeman previously served as executive vice president of commercial services and strategy for Retail Business Services, Ahold Delhaize USA’s recently formed support services company.

Ahold Delhaize USA said Peapod Digital Labs will help its retail grocery brands provide an omnichannel experience by meeting the changing needs of customers no matter when, where and how they shop. Plans call for the new entity to be built out over the coming months and become fully operational by the end of the year.

Peapod Digital Labs "will serve as the engine that powers our U.S. e-commerce and digital strategies," according to Kevin Holt, chief executive officer of Ahold Delhaize USA.

"As one of the largest grocery retailers and a market leader in home delivery on the East Coast, the great local brands of Ahold Delhaize USA have a strong heritage of innovation,” Holt said in a statement. “The creation of Peapod Digital Labs and appointment of JJ to lead the new company and serve as chief e-commerce officer will enable us to sharpen our focus on leveraging the size and scale of the U.S. brands to provide customers with a personalized and effortless shopping experience."

Designated as the as the innovation lab for the U.S. portfolio of companies, Peapod Digital Labs is charged with boosting digital and personalization capabilities for the Food Lion, Giant Food, Giant/Martin’s, Hannaford and Stop & Shop supermarket chains, which total more than 2,000 stores in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic. The lab also will oversee online grocery retailer Peapod, based in Chicago.

Peapod Digital Labs’ goal is to help the local brands “create best-in-class customer experiences," Fleeman noted.

"We have a tremendous opportunity to build upon Peapod's longstanding history of innovating to meet consumers' needs to create an unparalleled omnichannel grocery experience,” he explained. “Whether it's searching for inspiration on meals, shopping online or driving digital and personalization in-store, Peapod Digital Labs will enhance the digital experience to the benefit of U.S. consumers."  

Before being appoint to his role at Ahold Delhaize USA’s Retail Business Services, Fleeman served as chief strategy and development officer for Delhaize America. The company said he played a key role as the global integration and program leader for Delhaize Group during the merger process that led to Ahold Delhaize. Fleeman also led the creation of a digital center of excellence at Delhaize America. Prior to that, he held a range of senior-level roles in strategy, marketing, operations and merchandising at Delhaize America and Food Lion.

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