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Reuters reports that Ahold Delhaize CEO Frans Muller says that the company is “on track to meet a 20 percent U.S. online sales growth target this year as it opens automated grocery distribution points along the East Coast.”

The story notes that last November “Ahold announced plans to roll out small, automated warehouses to increase order picking and cut delivery times, part of a revamp of its ecommerce business to help fight competitors like Kroger, Walmart and Amazon. Muller said several new centers will be opened this year, with a higher number in 2020, but gave no specific number.”

At the same time, Muller said that Ahold Delhaize sees “more opportunities in the US” for acquisitions: “The market is consolidating. We have a strong base and strong brands along the East Coast.” The story says that “Muller has said the company hopes to make acquisitions to meet targets of 20 percent online U.S. sales growth in 2019 and 30 percent in 2020.”

The comments came as Ahold Delhaize said that its Q4 US sales, including online, “rose to $11.17 billion from $10.89 billion a year earlier.
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