retail news in context, analysis with attitude

The Financial Times reports that Ahold CEO John Rishton is saying that the company will seek opportunities to expand, noting that “in a recession, the strong will get relatively stronger and the weak will get relatively weaker. We’re one of the strong and will seize opportunities that will inevitably arise in this kind of market … I’m convinced that some more consolidation is going to take place in our industry and we’re well-placed to take advantage of that.”

Rishton also said that the company’s Stop & Shop, Giant-Landover and Giant-Carlisle divisions will announce new marketing initiatives in the coming week, moves designed to build on what the company says are improved margins at all three divisions.
KC's View:
Could “weaker” mean Ukrop’s, despite speculation that an unnamed private equity firm is best positioned at the moment to acquirer the iconic Virginia retailer?

It should be pointed out that FT notes that Ahold’s debt is just 20 percent of what it was a few years ago, when it was in the middle of a financial scandal caused by then-senior executives juggling the books. That’s an impressive achievement by any measure.