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Targets and strategy

Employee and customer in store

Targets and strategy

With a strategic framework, concrete focus areas, a purpose-driven company culture and deep-rooted core values, Axfood offers affordable, good and sustainable food and creates a greater quality of life for everyone.

Axfood’s vision is to be the leader in affordable, good and sustainable food. This is how we create a greater quality of life for everyone, which is our purpose. This permeates all of the Group’s operations and serves as a compass for activities and decisions.

Axfood’s operations are conducted and developed based on a strategy of growth-promoting and efficiency-enhancing focus areas. To promote growth, the focus is on developing and offering an attractively priced assortment. Apart from growing sales at existing stores, key initiatives include continued expansion through more stores, roll-out of e-commerce and the establishment of new formats centrally. The Group is made more efficient through a more data-driven work approach and continued development of the logistics solutions of the future. To stay at the forefront, initiatives and activities to strengthen the culture and engagement are prioritised to attract and develop the industry’s best employees.

Within Axfood, collaborative work is ongoing to significantly change the role of food for everyone that is impacted through the different concepts, operations and brands. Better choices are made easier, both for ourselves and for current and future generations.

Axfood manages and continuously monitors the Group’s operations based on a set of strategic Group-wide targets. By maintaining a strong financial position and sustainable operations, scope and conditions are created for long-term profitable growth.


Financial targets


Axfood will grow faster than the market. In 2022, Axfood’s retail sales increased by 11.9 percent (1.9), while growth for the market was 5.7 percent (1.3), according to the Swedish Food Retailers Federation and HUI Research.

With various strong concepts and strong market positions, Axfood has grown faster than the market for several years, both in physical stores and in e-commerce. This trend accelerated in 2022, particularly for Willys, and Axfood grew more than twice as much as the market.


The operating margin will be at least 4.5% over the long term. The operating margin in 2022 was 4.2% (4.7).

At the end of 2021, the profitability target was raised from the previous level of a long-term operating margin of a minimum of 4.0%. This was a result of the investments that are now being made in logistics, together with the development in the store chains, create favourable conditions for increased profitability over time.

Financial position

The equity ratio is to amount to at least 20% at year-end. As of 31 December 2022, the equity ratio was 24.1% (21.8).

Axfood has a solid balance sheet, and the business model generates stable cash flow. The aim is to maintain a strong financial position to create the scope and flexibility to make investments that will lead to long-term benefits for the Group. In 2022, the equity ratio was positively impacted by the completed rights issue of SEK 1.5 billion.


Environmental targets

Sustainable assortment

By 2025, the share of sustainability-labelled products as a percentage of Axfood’s retail sales will amount to at least 30%. In 2022, sustainability-labelled products accounted for 26.6% (28.1).

Sustainability-labelled goods guides consumers to products that are made in a way that takes both environmental and social aspects into account. These products are often higher in price since they are generally more expensive to produce, and in 2022, their share of sales declined, partly as a result of consumers’ increased price consciousness. The development of both the customer offering and customer meeting with regards to sustainability and health is highly prioritised.

Carbon footprint

Axfood will have net zero emissions from its own operations by 2030 at the latest. In 2022, total greenhouse gas emissions (Scope 1, 2 and 3) amounted to 44,327 tonnes of CO2 equivalents (41,336).

The climate target helps to limit the emissions of greenhouse gases to meet both national environmental goals and the Paris Agreement. The Group’s emissions from its own operations are climate compensated. The work to transition the delivery fleet towards more renewable fuels continues, to offset the negative trend in emissions.

Electricity consumption

Axfood’s electricity consumption is to decline 10% per square metre by 2025
(base year 2020). In 2022, electricity consumption per square metre decreased by approximately 7% compared with the base year.

Axfood’s operations require electricity, for example, for lighting, heating, cooling, freezing and ventilation. Consumption, the absolute majority of
which comprises green electricity, is monitored, followed up and measured
using a joint control system.

Gender equality

Axfood will have an even long-term gender breakdown in management positions, defined as men and women being represented within a range of 40%–60%. In 2022, the share of women in management positions was 35.0% (32.3).

Axfood is a values-governed company that aspires to reflect society as a whole. Axfood strives for an even gender breakdown among its employees, and ambitious and long-term targets ensure that the Group is working toward a more even balance between men and women in management positions.


Axfood’s target is for at least 20% of the Group’s managers to have an international background. In 2022, 17% (16) of Axfood’s managers had an international background.

Axfood endeavours to reflect the diversity found in society, and is to offer all of its employees fair opportunities to contribute and grow professionally. Axfood strives for a broad international representation among its employees.

Sickness-related absence

Sickness-related absence among Axfood’s employees is not to exceed 5.3%. In 2022, sickness-related absence amounted to 7.0% (6.7).

Axfood will offer its employees a healthy work environment with good working conditions that contribute to a low rate of sickness-related absence. Sickness-related absence during the year was higher than the Group’s target and continued to be affected by the pandemic.