With 2,300 of its own and retailer-owned grocery stores in five geographical markets, ICA Gruppen is one of the leading retail companies in the Nordic region, covering Sweden, Norway, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania.

ICA Gruppen has more than one business model, and they differ between countries and operations. But one common idea runs through all of them: to combine the best aspects of entrepreneurship with the best economies of scale. The ICA Idea of individual retailers working in cooperation, which combines diversity and local adaptation with economies of scale and efficiency, is a cornerstone in ICA Gruppen’s business model.

ICA Sweden, for example, is a grocery retail business operating throughout Sweden in cooperation with independent ICA retailers. ICA Sweden is responsible for coordinated sourcing, logistics, marketing communication and support for retailers in areas such as marketing and store development.

“ICA joined GLOBALG.A.P. as one of the first retail members and continued to be a member as part of the AHOLD group”, says Kristian Moeller, CEO of GLOBALG.A.P. “We are very pleased that ICA decided to continue with their extraordinary commitment to GLOBALG.A.P. after their spin-off. We welcome them again and look forward to their support of our global goal towards safer and more sustainable agricultural production.”

The ICA idea is a business model where the individual retailer owns and operates his store in cooperation with other retailers and with a common purchasing and support company. This has been the model since the founding of ICA in 1917 and remains so to this day in Sweden. The model has been adapted to the changes in the environment, and the ICA activities have been supplemented by other operations within and outside of Sweden.

ICA also has sourcing offices in China and Vietnam. Close to 70 employees work in Asia as experts in sourcing, quality assurance & social responsibility. Local presence gives the group better control of product quality and enables it to monitor the journey from producer to consumer. It also enables it to ensure that suppliers take social and environmental responsibility into account.

Learn more about ICA Gruppen AB here