Ahold Delhaize

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Supermarket chain Ahold Delhaize has unveiled plans to spin off its €5.5bn Dutch online retail business Bol.com in a subsidiary IPO.

The Dutch group said it would retain control over the business, which competes with Amazon in its domnestic market, and would only list an unspecified number of shares on Euronext Amsterdam at some point in the second half of 2022.

Ahold Delhaize said it expected sales at Bol.com to double by 2025 from the €5.5bn generated in 2021.

The group added the IPO would “fully activate the opportunities for Bol.com, to fuel its tremendous growth potential and to provide further funding for Ahold Delhaize to execute on its winning strategy”.

The news comes ahead of the company’s annual investor day, with Ahold Delhaize also announcing a €1bn share buyback programme.

It also outlined its plans and targets towards 2025, with revenues expected to continue to grow in 2022 and growth to accelerate in the 2023-2025 period, with the aim of adding €10bn in incremental sales by 2025.

The group added it expected online sales to double to €20bn and ecommerce to be profitable by 2025.

CEO Frans Muller said: “Our ’Leading Together’ strategy has proven to be strong in recent years, and is a great foundation as we head into the future.

“The Covid-19 pandemic put our people and our strategic choices to the test, and through it all we were able to always deliver for our customers, our communities and our associates in all the brands and support companies.

“I cannot stress enough how proud I am of our achievements. The pandemic has accelerated the pace of change in the retail industry. It has also changed consumer behavior permanently with people shopping more online, eating more at home and having a bigger interest in local and healthier food.”

Shares in the group have jumped 4.2% to €31.02 this morning.

Morning update

Grocery tech firm Eagle Eye is working with Asda to develop a trial of the retailer’s new loyalty programme, Asda Rewards.

Following a successful trial with Asda employees in September 2021, the programme has been extended to 16 Asda stores across West Yorkshire and the West Midlands.

Asda Rewards is designed to provide customers with the best value when shopping and rewards them with money for buying the products they use regularly.

Customers using the Asda Rewards app can build up a ‘cash pot’ each time they purchase a ‘star product’ or complete an in-app ‘mission’ when shopping in one of the 16 trial stores.

Eagle Eye’s AIR platform powers the scheme including the offer and reward management within the app, the membership card, star products, missions and cash pot as well as the creation and redemption of vouchers through its integration with Asda’s point-of-sale systems.

As the trial develops, Asda aims to customise offers so customers can earn pounds for buying their favourite products, or rewards for buying products that are environmentally friendly.

Eagle Eye CEO Tim Mason said: “We are excited to be part of Asda’s loyalty programme trial and look forward to seeing the results. We have been working closely with Asda since 2014 and have seen first-hand the digital journey that they are taking customers on. Loyalty programmes such as these help retailers improve their business through data-driven insights generating personalised offers which increase customer satisfaction and improve their marketing effectiveness.”

Shares in the group leapt 5.3% higher this morning to 571p.

CBD health and wellness group Love Hemp has launched its first national media campaign today.

It includes a 30-second television advert airing on ITV, video on-demand platforms, including ITV Hub, All 4 and Sky, as well as print media in Metro nationwide and multiple outdoor advertising formats in London, Manchester, Liverpool and the North East.

The campaign stars the company’s investor and ambassador, two-time Heavyweight Boxing World Champion and Olympic gold medallist, Anthony Joshua.

CEO and co-founder Tony Calamita said: “We believe our mainstream national media campaign with a leading British role model brings CBD to the forefront of the health and wellness industry.

“Since Love Hemp was established six years ago, we have grown a loyal consumer base who have not only enjoyed the multiple benefits of our high-quality products but have also bought in to the philosophy, values, and authenticity of Love Hemp.

“Today’s launch marks the first significant step in leveraging our outstanding partnerships to deliver these key messages to a rapidly growing consumer base. We see strong partnerships coupled with powerful marketing as a crucial part of our growth strategy.”

The FTSE 100 made a solid start to the week, rising 0.2To 7,362pts in the early going.

Early movers included Glanbia, up 9.1% to €15, Nichols, up 3.3% to 1,312p, and McBride, up 3.3% to 69.6p.

B&M European Value Retail, Kerry Group, PZ Cussons and Finsbury Food Group are among the early fallers, down 4% to 575.6p, 1.1% to €114.25, 0.7% to 209.5p and 0.5% to 97p respectively.

This week in the City

After a busy week for the retail sector, things slow down a little this week.

Tomorrow kicks off with the latest monthly Nielsen grocery till roll figures, while Premier Foods unveils its half-year results and tobacco giant Imperial Brands reports full-year figures. In the US, former Asda owner WalMart issues its latest quarterly update.

Property firm British Lands reports interims on Wednesday, with the latest official inflation rate also released by the ONS.

DTC wine retailer Naked Wines releases its first-half numbers on Thursday

Finally, the latest GfK Consumer Confidence index and the ONS retail sales figures close out the week on Friday.