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Outgoing Axfood Chief Executive Calls On Successor To Foster Growth

Published on Feb 9 2017 11:45 AM in Retail tagged: Featured Post / Sweden / Axfood / Eurocash / Matse

Outgoing Axfood Chief Executive Calls On Successor To Foster Growth

The outgoing chief executive at Swedish retailer Axfood, Anders Strålman, has told ESM that his successor, Klas Balkow, should focus on three simple things: "growth, growth and growth."

Strålman spoke to ESM following a positive set of full year results at the Swedish retailer, in which it posted a 5.1% consolidated net sales increase to SEK 43,355 million.

Looking ahead to the coming financial year, Strålman, who will step down from the retailer on March 15 (Balkow, the former CEO of Clas Ohlson, takes over 16 March), said that the coming year is likely to be challenging, due to higher inflation, a weaker krona, and more focus on value in the marketplace.

"The competition has always been tough, and it will continue to be so in 2017," he said. "Of course, the instability we are seeing in the world right now may affect consumers’ willingness to spend. This we have to keep in mind."

On the retailer's recent acquisition of online retailer Matse, Strålman said that the company has "great experience and know-how in e-commerce. In addition, they add a customer base and a rich recipe bank – plus three large packing warehouses in Gothenburg, Malmö and Stockholm. The latter is something that we did not currently have at all."

He also commented on the purchase of Eurocash Food AB, alongside Norgesgruppen, one of the big retail deals of the year so far, saying that "cross-border shopping has been an empty space on our map and is a market in which there is great potential for growth."

You can read the full interview in ESM Issue 2 2017, which is due out in mid-March.

© 2017 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Stephen Wynne-Jones. Click subscribe to sign up for ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine.

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