Delhaize Rolls Out Streamlined Support Functions for U.S. Banners

Delhaize Group today announced a new organizational structure for its U.S. operations that the international retail conglomerate said would serve as a springboard for future expansion. The company’s U.S. banners — Food Lion, Harveys, Reid’s, Bloom, Bottom Dollar Food, Hannaford and Sweetbay — will continue to operate in existing locations under their respective names, and customers will notice no changes, according to Delhaize. The changes will go into effect Feb. 1.

Support functions for the banners will come under the purview of Delhaize’s U.S. division, Delhaize America, while the distinct formats and business strategies of each chain will be preserved. Under the reorganization, the banners will share services relating to corporate development, legal and government relations, information technology, finance, communications, organizational change management, human resources, strategy and research, and supply chain and procurement.

“By streamlining our U.S. operations, we will become a stronger and more efficient company,” explained Pierre-Olivier Beckers, CEO of both Delhaize Group and Delhaize America. “This new structure enables us to eliminate redundancies in our operations, and provide efficient and effective support to the retail operations, while ensuring a strong focus on local customer needs. In addition, we believe this new simplified structure will create a strong foundation to better support future growth strategies, such as potential acquisitions.”

Rick Anicetti, currently CEO of Salisbury, N.C.-based Food Lion, LLC, will becomes CEO of Delhaize America Shared Services, in which capacity he will oversee the company’s corporate shared services functions. Executives in the new organization will include Robert Canipe, corporate development; Linn Evans, Legal Affairs and Government Relations; Scott Harrison, information technology; Carol Herndon, finance and accounting; Denise Hill, corporate communications and public relations; Bob Stapleton, organizational change management; and Brad Wise, human resources.

The restructuring “will further strengthen our organization and enable us to provide a greater focus on customers through a more efficient operation,” said Anicetti, who added that the organization would seek out “future business development opportunities to continue to propel the organization’s growth.”

Ron Hodge, currently CEO of Scarborough, Maine-based Hannaford Supermarkets, will become CEO of Delhaize America Operations, in which position he will be responsible for all U.S. retail banner operations. The following banner presidents will head their respective organizations: Cathy Green, Food Lion family (Food Lion, Bloom, Harveys and Reid’s); Meg Ham, Bottom Dollar Food; Beth Newlands Campbell, Hannaford Supermarkets; and Mike Vail, Sweetbay Supermarkets.

Hodge will additionally guide the support functions of strategy and research, headed by Greg Amoroso, and supply chain, led by Mark Doiron.

“We remain strongly committed to continuing to serve our customers locally and ensuring that all banners deliver the excellent quality and great prices that our customers have come to expect from our company,” noted Hodge. He and Anicetti will both report to Beckers.

Delhaize revealed the reorganization plans for its American operations when it released fourth-quarter and full-year financial results for 2009. During its fourth-quarter, the retailer experienced revenue growth of 1.5 percent at identical exchange rates, while U.S. comparable-store sales declined 2.8 percent, although Delhaize noted that volume trends were better than the year-ago period “in a highly deflationary U.S. environment.” For the full year, the company posted revenue growth of 2.6 percent at identical exchange rates, with U.S. comps falling 0.4 percent.

Employing about 141,000 people, Brussels-based international food retailer Delhaize operates stores in six countries on three continents.
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