14 December, 2022 - Jan Linders Supermarkets and Albert Heijn have decided to join hands, with family business Jan Linders continuing its operations as Albert Heijn franchisee. With this step, Jan Linders remains a key player in the south of the Netherlands. For Albert Heijn, the cooperation is a great opportunity to become the store around the corner for more customers in this region as well.
The vast majority of current (63) stores will remain part of Jan Linders’ new franchise organization and be converted into Albert Heijn franchise supermarkets. Employees working at these stores will continue to work there. Some supermarkets of Jan Linders will not be joining the new franchise organization. In addition, Jan Linders will be acquiring ten supermarkets from Albert Heijn in the south of the Netherlands. Employees working at these stores will also continue to work there, with Jan Linders becoming their employer.
The distribution center (DC) of Jan Linders in Nieuw Bergen will be acquired by Albert Heijn, while preserving the function of DC. All DC employees will keep their jobs, thus ensuring employment in this region. Jan Linders’ headquarters will continue to exist in a new and compact setup as Service Office of the franchise organization.
According to Ferry Moolenschot, CEO at Jan Linders, the step is a daring, yet sensible one given the current circumstances of extensive digitisation and rapidly changing customer expectations, which require major structural investments and a high rate of innovation to remain competitive. Sustainably healthy business operations will therefore come under pressure in the long run. After careful consideration of various scenarios, Jan Linders has found a way to maintain sustainable entrepreneurship through its agreement with Albert Heijn.
Ferry Moolenschot, “I understand the decision brings a significant amount of change for our colleagues, customers, and business relations alike. Particularly for employees of the Service Office, where jobs will disappear. For them, together with the works council, a generous social plan will be drafted, and they will be guided from job to job. For those supermarkets that will not be joining the new franchise organization a future-proof new owner is sought, with a commitment to job security being paramount. In joining hands with Albert Heijn, we will be working together with a strong and innovative player with which we can continue to build and grow. Our customers will benefit from the very best Jan Linders has to offer, the familiar faces in our supermarkets and soon also all the good things this market leader brings to the table. We are glad that we can reinforce our family business with ten wonderful stores where great teams work. I confidently look forward to a successful cooperation”, Moolenschot said.
Marit van Egmond, CEO at Albert Heijn, “I am grateful to the Linders family for the trust they have placed in us, and I very much look forward to working together. For us, this step means a strengthening of our store base in the south of the Netherlands, which makes me very happy. I am also delighted with the acquisition of the distribution center in Nieuw Bergen that will move over to Albert Heijn, while retaining the current team. I know Jan Linders as a service-oriented supermarket that always goes the extra mile for customers. That drive, combined with the passion for delicious foods and drinks means we are a perfect match. As for those stores that will be transferred to Jan Linders’ franchise organization, we will ensure a smooth guidance of our colleagues. Nothing will change as far as our customers are concerned, with familiar Albert Heijn stores and familiar Albert Heijn-faces.”
Co-owner and Unit Manager Fresh Food at Jan Linders, Ruth Linders, “Of course it hurts to see Jan Linders disappearing after almost 60 years as an independent supermarket formula. However, the intention from generation to generation has been to have sustainable and future-oriented business. This has never changed, and we are convinced that by joining forces with Albert Heijn, we will successfully continue our organisation. We have spent a lot of time and effort getting to know each other well. As a result, we are taking this step with full confidence.”
Jonas Linders, co-owner and Strategy and Business Development Manager at Jan Linders Supermarkten, adds, “At Jan Linders, it is no secret that we have been exploring options to secure a healthy future for our company. For us as a family, it is paramount that we want to continue doing business in this industry and that we want to take our employees along on this journey. This way, that can be done. We are investing deliberately in a new chapter for the family business.”
In its new setup, Jan Linders will continue to focus on the company's customer-oriented service while holding on to its regional roots.
Ferry Moolenschot emphasises how employees have mattered to the organisation, “Jan Linders was able to flourish in 60 years thanks to the unrelenting efforts and dedication of our colleagues. And for that, the Linders family and I are very grateful. Their input allows us to make this decision under financially solid circumstances. Cooperation with Albert Heijn will ensure room for our employees to do what Jan Linders does best, dedicating personal attention to customers. Our employees and customers will all benefit.”
Today, all Jan Linders employees were informed about the intended cooperation. The same goes for employees working at Albert Heijn stores that will be transferred to the new franchise organisation Jan Linders. Jan Linders will leave the purchasing organization Superunie, being very grateful to Superunie. Jan Linders has respected the interests of Superunie throughout the process and has fully safeguarded the confidential nature of the procurement conditions known to it.
The cooperation agreements are subject to the advice of both works councils and approval of the Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) for those supermarkets that will be transferred from Albert Heijn to Jan Linders. The aim is to have converted all stores involved by the end of 2023.