Dutch international retailer Ahold expects its online retail brand Bol.com to be a €1 billion plus consumer sales brand already in 2016. Last year, Ahold generated online revenues being worth 1.8 billion euro. Half of its digital sales came from Bol.com, which thus generated about 900 million euros in sales.
That’s what Ahold’s CEO Dick Boer told during the presentation of the Q4/FY2015 results. He said they expect Bol.com to be a €1 billion plus brand at the end of this year. And there’s no reason to think otherwise, as Bol.com saw its net consumer sales increase by 35.3 percent during the financial year 2015. The growth was fueled by the launch of new categories (recently it started selling clothing for children and pregnant women) and accelerated growth in Belgium as well as the success of Plaza, its third-party sellers’ platform. For Ahold, this marketplace to merchant partners is an important driver in delivering on its 2017 ambition of 2.5 billion euros in online sales.
‘Bol.com business is true success story’
“The Bol.com business is a true success story, growing at a continued high pace in the Netherlands and Belgium, with consumer sales up over 30% in the last quarter of the year. I want to emphasize how pleased we are to have Bol.com as part of our company”, Boer said. “In addition to the tremendous growth numbers, Bol.com helps to infuse our company’s DNA with a commitment to technology and data-based, rapid, customer-focused innovation. Like Albert Heijn, bol.com – offering more than 10 million products – has become one of the most loved and trusted brands in the Netherlands.”
Ahold’s online business, which include US grocery service Peapod, AH.nl and online supermarket activities in the Czech Republic, is on track to meet their target of 2.5 billion euros in consumer sales in 2017. The company is planning to invest in their logistical infrastructure in the Netherlands, with a new distribution center for Albert Heijn and a new distribution center for Bol.com. “This will result in an increased cash capital expenditure of around 1 billion euros for 2016”, the CEO explained.
Ahold expects that Bol.com will play a key role in its business strategy and believes there is currently no foreseeable limit to the period over which the brand is expected to generate net cash inflows. Therefore the brand is assessed to have an indefinite useful life, Boer said.