Ahold?s Dutch health and beauty care store chain Etos has announced the opening of two pilot stores in Stockholm on February 7. Etos will work together with ICA Ahold, the Swedish food retail organization and Ahold?s Scandinavian joint venture partner. A third pilot store is scheduled to open in April.
The stores will be based on Etos? successful ?four worlds? format, divided into four broad assortment groups. Each group has a distinctive identity, symbolizing the four elements, earth, water, air and fire. The pilot stores will be evaluated within six months after the introduction of the Etos format in Sweden. If successful more stores will be opened, with the ultimate purpose of establishing a chain of health and beauty stores in Sweden.
Remarks by John van der Ent, CEO of the Etos Group: ?We are proud of the introduction of the Etos format in Sweden. We are confident that the format will prove popular with Swedish customers. Our format can be exported relatively easily. There is no store like Etos on the Swedish market. Health and beauty items are generally sold in supermarkets and department stores. Given the size of the Swedish market, the local culture and the spending pattern of Swedish consumers, this country offers Etos and ICA Ahold a lot of potential.?
Remarks by Kenneth Bengtsson, CEO ICA Ahold AB: ?The Etos stores will give a new impetus to our successful partnership with Ahold. The Swedish stores operate under the Etos name, and store interiors will be the same as in Holland. The product assortment differs, as the range of vitamin and food supplement products is larger. These products are very popular with our customers. Etos will also offer its private label assortment in Sweden. Thirty Swedish associates have been trained by Etos in The Netherlands.?
Etos Group The Netherlands
Health and beauty care chain Etos operates 430 stores in The Netherlands. Etos also operates 70 ?Garden? stores, offering natural products.
ICA Ahold AB
Ahold holds a 50% interest in the ICA Ahold joint venture. ICA is market leader in Sweden, holds a prominent position in Norway and operates stores in the Baltic States. Over 3,000 supermarkets, hypermarkets and discount stores work together in ICA Ahold. Sales of the ICA Ahold joint venture total approximately Euro 5 billion. ICA has a 50-50 joint venture with Statoil Retail, and operates and services 1,500 gasoline stations with convenience stores in Sweden, Norway and Denmark.