Large co-op association strengthens its business

In charge of the largest money tank within the Danish co-op associations, is director Brian Johansen at ‘Asnæs og Omegns brugsforening’. The association has upgraded on several areas to ensure a healthy development with up-to-date stores – electronic shelf labels are an important tool here.

Transformation and growth have always been a driving force for Brian Johansen, who has been with Coop since he started as a service assistant in Brugsen, already as a 12-year-old. Since then, he has worked his way up. Today, he still appreciates working hard and closely with both staff members and customers.

Today, Brian Johansen is director of one of the largest co-op associations in Danish Coop with an equity of DKK 135 million. – which makes ‘Asnæs og Omegns brugsforening’ as the independent co-op associations with the largest equity in Denmark.

The director has also been both store manager and district manager in Coop with guidance responsibility for SuperBrugsen stores on Zealand. After 15 years as district manager, Brian Johansen thought it was time to change tracks, and he therefore did not need reflection time when a position emerged as a director of the independent co-op association in Asnæs.

– I enjoy being back with the stores again, and I am satisfied with my job as director, as it also allows me to be on the floor among staff members and customers, says Brian Johansen.


‘Asnæs og Omegns brugsforening’ has existed since 1908 and has grown to be one of the country’s largest co-op associations. Over the years, there has been a lot of investment, and today the association’s portfolio consists of several grocery stores, petrol halls, car wash, and several different properties. All is part of a clear strategy to spread interests and become less vulnerable.

"We know the system well and have only positive things to say about electronic shelf labels and the collaboration with Delfi Technologies. The technology works as it should."

Brian Johansen, Director at Asnæs & Omegns brugsforening

Today, the association has 9,000 members and employs more than 200 staff members in the stores in Asnæs, Fårevejle, Vig Lyng, and Kundby, among others.

The association’s strategy of spreading interests beyond anything other than the grocery business is also expressed through a local commitment. Here, investment in apartments must help to create a settlement in Asnæs and keep the local business running.

The association also invests heavily in the city’s local center, the ‘Asnæs Center’, where the association’s primary store also is located. SuperBrugsen Asnæs also has 33 staff members employed alone in the bakery and runs the center café, which sells more than 1,100 cups of coffee to the guests in the center every week.


The local commitment requires that you know the customers and can provide personal service, so the customers feel seen and welcome in the store. That is why SuperBrugsen Asnæs also uses electronic shelf labels, so that staff does not have to spend time changing price signs in connection with price and item changes.

The association has been involved from the beginning when they began to implement electronic shelf labels in both Coop’s centrally owned and the independent stores. Today, more than 400 Coop stores use electronic shelf labels from Delfi Technologies.

– We know the system well and have only positive things to say about electronic shelf labels and the collaboration with Delfi Technologies, says Brian Johansen and continues:

– The technology works as it should, we avoid price errors, and the central Coop campaigns run completely automatically in the system, so the signs on the shelfs are updated without us having to do anything.


Geographically, ‘Ansæs and Omegns brugsforening’ covers the area from the hometown Asnæs to Sorø, Snertinge, Vipperød, Korsør, and Karlslunde. It is through nine different joint-stock companies that the association either owns or is co-owner of. And it does not stop here. The association continues to strengthen its business, the director explains.

– I expect even more from the coming years. In Asnæs, we are, among other things, facing a rebuild of our SuperBrugsen store, which will provide a completely different and even better experience for customers.

Among other things, the redesign offers an improved in-store experience with a focus on the supermarket of the future, where the goods must be presented and experienced differently. Here, Brian Johansen also hopes that the electronic shelf labels can be used to a greater extent as a tool to sell the goods via the many options, available in the system.

The store will be rebuilt as part of Coop’s main concept for SuperBrugsen, but with local adaptations to ensure the right anchoring in the local area. A central part of the association’s DNA is precisely about gathering and developing the local area.

Another strong part of the association’s DNA is about operating and developing stores – not only SuperBrugsen Asnæs, but also the rest of the association’s stores as well as any new ones that may be added in the future.

According to Brian Johansen, it is very much about daring to do something and believe that you can make a difference when it comes to advising and optimizing stores.

– We have a strong network of skilled leaders, who of course give us confidence and the belief that we can do something when we enter something new. We have the needed forces to create the necessary transformation, he concludes.


SuperBrugsen is Denmark’s largest supermarket chain with 230 stores that focus on good food, butcher, fruit and vegetables, wine, ecology, and good customer service. One of the independent co-op associations is located in Asnæs, which among other things owns and operates SuperBrugsen Asnæs. ‘Asnæs og Omegns brugsforening’ started in 1908 and grown into one of Denmark’s largest co-op associations.

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