ICA AB (Inköpscentralernas aktiebolag) is a Swedishretailing corporate group. The company was started in 1938, based on a business model which was introduced by Hakonbolagen in 1917. Most of its operations are based in Scandinavia, and the company is the largest retail company in the Nordic countries.
The company was owned by the participating retailers until 2000 when half of the company was sold to the Dutch retailer Ahold. Ahold is prevented by contractual obligation from exercising majority control over ICA even if it should acquire a majority of the shares.
An approximation of the usual pronunciation of the name in Sweden for an English speaker would be 'ee-kah'.
In Sweden, ICA Sverige AB operates about 1,350 retail stores as of 2009. The stores have different profiles, depending on location, range of products and size:
ICA Nära ("ICA Near-by") — Convenience-type stores for daily retail needs.
ICA Supermarket — Mid-size supermarkets, located near where customers dwell or work carrying a wide range of products.
ICA Kvantum — Superstores for large, planned purchases. Large spaces allocated for traffic and parking. Typically located outside of the cities.
MAXI ICA Stormarknad — Hypermarkets with a full range of groceries as well as fashions, homewares, entertainment and electrical. Smaller stores do not offer the fashion and electrical ranges while the largest stores also have a DIY and gardening... Read More