This week I visited the Giant store in Wynnewood, PA. One of the 15 former Genuardi-stores Ahold bought from Safeway Inc. In just three weeks all stores were converted to the Giant format. In Wynnewood this took only six(!) days. A local display of Ahold’s global strategy of simplicity.
It was a big achievement of Ahold’s store builders, knowing that the whole store was first completely stripped, including the floors. And then the Giant signing and equipment was installed. And all this in just six days in july 2012.
Steve Coffey of Giant took some pictures of one of the nicest moments, when the Giant logo was attached to the store fascia. You can see them here. All the more the record time renewal was remarkable, as the building is over 100 years old and specific requirements and local conditions had to be taken into account.
That Ahold is capable of doing such a rapid renewal shows its intention to add simplicity to all its operations. For the retailer simplicity is both a strategic and a financial term. It was mostly used by CFO Jeff Carr during Ahold’s Capital Market Days 2012 on November 28 and 29 in Philadelphia.
Standardisation of measures, tools and operations. Streamlining the backoffice and all operations without compromising the customer experience. All this is key to the strategy ‘Reshaping Retail at Ahold’, which aims for 600 million euros in cost savings by 2014. The Wynnewood example shows how simplicity allows for efficiency gains when plans, procedures and tools are standardised.