Dutch retailers Jan Linders Supermarkets and Albert Heijn have announced a partnership that will see the former operate as a franchiser of the latter.
The move will allow Jan Linders to retain its market in the south of the Netherlands and give Albert Heijn the opportunity to gain more customers, Albert Heijn said in a statement.
The cooperation agreement between the companies is subject to advise from both works councils and approval from the Dutch competition authority, ACM.
Marit van Egmond, CEO of Albert Heijn, said, "I am grateful to the Linders family for the trust they have placed in us and I look forward to working together.
"For us, this step means a strengthening of our retail offer in the south of the Netherlands and I am very happy with that.”
As part of the deal, a majority of the 63 Jan Linders stores will be converted into Albert Heijn franchise supermarkets.
Employees of these supermarkets will continue to work in their stores, Albert Heijn noted.
Elsewhere, Jan Linders will also take over ten supermarkets from Albert Heijn in the south of the Netherlands.
Employees of these supermarkets will retain their jobs, with Jan Linders as their employer.
Co-owner and unit manager Vers van Jan Linders, Ruth Linders, stated, "Of course, it hurts us that Jan Linders is going to disappear after almost 60 years as an independent supermarket formula.
"However, what has been the intention from generation to generation is sustainable and future-oriented business. That will remain and we are convinced that by joining forces with Albert Heijn, we will successfully continue our organisation.”
The deal will also see Albert Heijn taking over the Jan Linders distribution centre in Nieuw Bergen, with all employees retaining their jobs.
The Service Office (SK) of Jan Linders will adopt a new and compact form as the Service Office of the franchise company, the company added.
According to Ferry Moolenschot, CEO of Jan Linders, the step is courageous and sensible in the current circumstances of extensive digitisation and rapidly changing customer expectations.
It will help the company remain competitive and continue doing business sustainably.
As a result of the new partnership, Jan Linders will leave the Superunie purchasing organisation.
© 2022 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Dayeeta Das. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine.