Online newspaper: Hollevik operates the largest private workplace in the country with 40,000 employees at Norgesgruppen.
The director has ultimate responsibility for, among others, Kiwi, Meny, Joker and Spar, Deli De Luca, Jafs and Kaffebrenneret.
Despite a turnover of over NOK 100 billion last year and an annual result of NOK 2.9 billion in 2022, the battle for customers never ends, he tells Nettavisen.
King of Consumer Goods: – We sleep in class
During Arendalsuka, the grocery manager said he was noticed when the Danish Normal chain entered the Norwegian market in 2017.
– None of us saw Plain coming. Traditional daily grocery chains slept by the hour. They simply put us to bed, Holevik says, and points to the chain’s sales growth.
Ordinary is still on the offensive. Last year, the chain’s turnover in Norway was NOK 2.4 billion, and its sales have increased by 35 percent since 2021.
There are now just over 150 regular stores in Norway. Plan 15 new openings before the new year. In July, the chain opens Europe’s largest regular store in Karl-Johan in Oslo.
For its part, Holjevik could have a 44 percent market share in the Norwegian FMCG market, so Norwegian is dominant despite the presence of new competitors.
Last year, Kiwi surpassed Rema 1000 as the largest low-price chain in the country.
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Want to try something new
However, the regular daily drug competitor creates a huge disruption. It requires more and more known daily drug players.
– We must always be convenient for our customers and sell goods that were previously sold in retail stores. This applies, for example, to flowers. But he says it’s just as important to think about new concepts.
Last year, Norgesgruppen bought a 50 percent stake in the low-priced Dollarstore chain. At the same time, the grocery giant launched the Gigaboks wholesale series. Presumably, both stores will face competition from Normal.
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Creates a major outage
Products within personal hygiene products, snacks and confectionery are product groups in which the daily goods industry has traditionally enjoyed the best profit margins.
Thus, Normal’s focus on these commodities, with a good selection and low prices, has contributed to a huge disruption for established players. They feel that plain stole their customers.
Norway’s grocery market is controlled by three major players, with Norgesgruppen the largest with 44 percent market share, Coop with nearly 30 percent, and Rima Ritan with 23 percent of the market.
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Say yes to multiple competitors
Holivek believes that consumers can deal with many actors.
Are Aldi and Lidl welcome in the Norwegian market?
– Yes, we are always positive about competition, he tells Netavisen. The CEO adds that it may not be a good fit for the chains even after Aldi asked Rema 1000 to take over their stores in Denmark.
The director of Norgesgruppen does not answer whether they want to act as wholesalers for foreign chains.
Instead, he asserts, they are a wholesaler for Christian Lykke’s Bunnpris.
Normal: – We appreciate the compliment
Normal takes Holivek’s statement as a compliment.
— it’s a nice compliment from an actor who has achieved great success, over many years, with many exciting concepts. At Normal we are very concerned with the fact that we have been most successful with the way we create ‘fun shopping’ and with the constant upgrading and innovation, says Thomas Harsvik, CEO Norway at Normal.
– How far do they intend to be?
– We’ve been well received in Norway and we see a good market for setting up more stores, says Harsvik.
– Will they scale to continue fighting?
– Basically, we are very interested in being able to surprise our customers with about 100 interesting and exciting news every week and being able to provide our customers with the goods they want to buy, he says.
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