Axfood has its roots in the formation of D&D Dagligvaror in 1999. The intention behind merging D-gruppen and Dagab into D&D was to create a new consumer-oriented food retailer.

Axfood was established in 2000 through the merger of Hemköp and D&D Dagligvaror and through the acquisition of Spar Inn Snabbgross, Spar Sverige and Spar Finland. Hemköp’s listing on the Stockholm Stock Exchange was taken over. Axfood started consolidating its business, resulting in the companies Willys, Hemköp, Axfood Närlivs and Dagab. In 2003 Willys and Hemköp gained their own private labels under a separate name and launched their own special non-food products.

Spar Finland was sold off in 2006 and the Stockholm chain PrisXtra was acquired in 2008. The private label Garant Ekologiska organic range was launched in 2008 and Fairtrade private label products were launched in 2009 under the name Aware. The new group private label Garant was also launched in 2009. In 2010 Axfood presented a sustainability programme and joined Diversity Charter Sweden.   The food planning website and app vardagsmaten.se was launched in 2011. The funding to Rädda Barnen engaged both customers and employees, in 2012 over four million SEK was raised. Axfood wins the prize Yearly listed company in 2012 and 2013. In 2014 the head office moved to central Stockholm.

Axfood’s logistics functions were coordinated in 2014 and included the transfer of Axfood Närlivs’ transport and inventory functions to Dagab. Starting on 1 January 2015, Axfood’s logistics operations – Dagab including Axfood’s Assortment & Purchasing unit – are reported as a separate segment in Axfood Sverige.


‘Spik-Olle’ opened his first Hemköp store in 1952. It was then taken over by Sam Hedenius AB in 1962. 1982 saw the formation of Hemköpskedjan AB under new owners Carnegie AB. In 1988, Axel Johnson AB bought the retail business from Carnegie, becoming the owner of such names as Hemköp, Dagab and Åhléns. The Hemköp chain became part of Axfood when the company was formed in 2000, with Axfood taking on Hemköp’s stock exchange listing. Hemköp’s health focus developed over the next few years. The healthy product series Hemköps Nyttiga was introduced in 2003.

In 2004, Hemköp, Spar and Billhälls stores were brought together under the Hemköp brand, which is made up of its own and proprietor-run stores. 2007 saw the launch of a new loyalty card offering a bonus of up to 2 percent on purchases. The target of 300,000 cardholders was reached in 2009. 2010 is Hemköp first with plastic bags of renewable raw materials and in 2012 about 50 Vi stores was converted to Hemköp. 2013 the customer program was renewed and plastic cards are no longer necessary, an app is available for smartphones. A new store wirh all organic products as well as Fairtrade was opened i Stockholm 2015. Hemköp Reko is to meet increased customer demand for ecofriendly products.


In 1975, LL:s Livs opened in Hisingen, Gothenburg, with the business concept of selling food more cheaply than anyone else. The concept enjoyed strong growth in western Sweden in the 1980s and a number of discount stores opened, including Willys Cash in Kungsbacka which focused on selling food more cheaply than LL:s Livs. In 1989, LL:s Livs was taken over by Detaljinvest AB, which also acquired competitor Willys Cash in 1994.

Axfood was formed in 2000 and conversion of the stores to the Willys concept commenced in 2001. 2002 saw 30 HP Billigt & Nära stores transformed into Willys Hemma, Willys’ urban concept. Willys opened its 100th store in Skene in 2005. Willys had grown from 12 to 100 stores in a matter of just six years. In 2008, a new store concept was introduced, the next generation of Willys. In 2010 all Willys stores were ecolabelled with the Swedish Society for Nature Conservation’s “Good Environmental
Choice”. 2012 the customer program Willys+ was launched and 2013 the number of members was over a million. In 2014 Willys became one of Save the Children's main partners after several years of cooperation. The organic product range increases every year and in 2014 Willys stopped selling eggs from caged hens. The Willys+ digital customer programme is a success with nearly 2 million members.

Axfood Närlivs

The roots of Axfood Närlivs stretch back to the formation of Dagab in 1975 but particularly to 1987, when Dagab Snabbgross opened its doors. With the conversion of Dagab Servicehandel in 1997, the company started taking on the shape it has today, with an increased focus on convenience retailers. In 1999, the company was incorporated within D&D, later to become Axfood, which led to Dagab Närlivs changing its name to Axfood Närlivs. A new concept for pick & mix sweets, Smått&Gott, was launched in 2002. Axfood Närlivs’ private label products were launched in 2003 under the name Godegården. In 2004, Axfood and Direktenbutikerna formed a new store profile under the name Direkten. 2005 saw 40 of the smaller Spar stores converted into Tempo stores. NetXtra, Axfood’s e-commerce business is from 2010 handled by Axfood Närlivs. 2012 NetXtra is sold to MatHem. In 2013 the collaboration with OKQ8, Preem and Statoil was extended. In 2014 Axfood Närlivs rolled out a new technique for convenience retailers to place orders, based on a smartphone app.


1973 saw the signing of the Saba-Dagab agreement, which involved Vivo, Favör and Åhlén & Holm joining up with Dagab. The critical step in Dagab’s formation was taken when J S Saba AB bought up a majority share in Dagab. In 1976, ASK ceased and was instead launched as a subsidiary of Dagab. Dagab Mid Sweden was formed in 1975 following a merger with J S Saba and the acquisition of the majority of wholesalers in Sweden.

In the 1970s and 1980s there were further acquisitions, for example of LL:s Livs (later Willys) and the Vivo-Favör organisation, plus Ce-Jis Kolonial, which in 1982 gave Dagab nationwide coverage. Axel Johnson AB became the new owner in 1988. In 2000, Axfood and Dagab became wholly owned subsidiaries of Axfood AB. Autoorder was introduced in 2009 to make goods flows to the stores more efficient. A number of initiatives were taken in 2010 to strengthen Dagab’s environmental profile. Dagab is actively working to reduce their carbon footprint. Wind turbines and solar panels heats parts of Dagab in 2013. Axfood’s logistics functions were coordinated in 2014 and included the transfer of Axfood Närlivs’ transport and inventory functions to Dagab. Starting on 1 January 2015, Axfood’s logistics operations – Dagab including Axfood’s Assortment & Purchasing unit – are reported as a separate segment in Axfood Sverige.