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Embracing The New – ESM Catches Up With Ahold Delhaize's Wouter Kolk

Published on Aug 4 2021 8:19 AM in Retail tagged: Trending Posts / Albert Heijn / Netherlands / Ahold Delhaize / / Wouter Kolk / Paywall

Following a successful year, Ahold Delhaize is adapting to the times, developing concepts that resonate with the post-pandemic shopper. Stephen Wynne-Jones spoke to Wouter Kolk, CEO, Ahold Delhaize Europe and Indonesia. This article previously appeared in ESM July/August 2021.

It’s been just over a year and a half since ESM last had the chance to catch up with Wouter Kolk, chief executive of Ahold Delhaize’s European and Indonesian operations, and while the setting may have changed – Microsoft Teams replacing an in-person engagement at the group’s impressive Zaandam headquarters – the company’s dedication certainly hasn’t.

Now, as then, digital integration, empowering the workforce and improving the customer proposition remain the core fundamentals that Kolk and his team are seeking to instil at Ahold Delhaize – even more so, perhaps, following the onslaught of a year-long pandemic.

“If you look at how things evolved, I’m actually very proud of the way we dealt with the pandemic,” says Kolk. I think we were all a bit shocked in the beginning, and then it started to develop like a real crisis –  how do we get the supply chains back up and running? How can we make sure we are meeting shifting demands? How can we make sure that our employees and customers are safe? Also, taking care of the local communities; via special shopping hours for the elderly, for instance.

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