Netherlands and Belgium news in review

Date : 10 November 2017

We round up the latest news from the Netherlands and Belgium as Albert Heijn rolls out an online delivery saver and Jumbo opens its first station store in the Netherlands. Meanwhile, the option to enter Belgium remains on the table for Jumbo, while Delhaize may invest in prices in the face of discount competition.

Albert Heijn rolls out online delivery saver

Following a successful pilot that began two years ago in Albert Heijn Bezorgbundel, the retailer has rolled this out across to service 86% of the Netherlands.

The delivery saver offers three pricing structures and customers have to spend a minimum of €70 to use the service. The cheapest variant is a three month pass offering users unlimited deliveries between Tuesdays and Thursdays for €27.50. Meanwhile the unlimited pass offers delivery from 12 noon on Mondays for €35. To incentivise shoppers to sign up for a year, the retailer is offering a €10 to €15 saving on the service.

Jumbo opens first station store…

Elsewhere in the market, Jumbo is opening its first station store, Jumbo City, in Eindhoven on November 15th.

Eindhoven is one of the busiest rail stations in the Netherlands, after central stations in Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague and Leidel, as well as Schipol Airport. Jumbo City will join a range of other grocery retailers and foodservice operators at the station including Albert Heijn to Go and Starbucks.

A press release from the retailer explained the store would stock ‘freshly prepared sandwiches and fresh sushi’, including products made by La Place, amongst other items. The product selection will also change throughout the day to meet different shopper missions.

Colette Cloosterman van Eerd, member of the Board of Directors and CCO responsible for formula and innovation said, ‘We want to provide our customers with an appropriate solution at any time of the day and for every food requirement. Also in the inner city and there are of course stations … With our unique fresh range of products, based on unique and customized recipes, we can respond to the wishes of travellers and visitors of the city centre. This allows us to make good and healthy food accessible to all’.

 …While Belgium remains on the table

Meanwhile, in neighbouring Belgium, local reports suggest that Jumbo may look to enter the market in the future.

CFO Ton van Veen said, Our multiannual plan offers the option of entering the Belgian market. Let me say that we do not exclude it, but we will not make concrete steps in the next few years’.

Delhaize Belgium to invest in pricing?

Elsewhere in the market, Delhaize, which reported flat performance in its Q3 results earlier this week, may invest in pricing in the future. Commenting to De Tijd, CEO Dick Boer said, ‘our pricing can be even better. We are good compared to other traditional chains, but in Belgium there are also some discounters’.

Want to know more about grocery retailing in Belgium and elsewhere in the world? Sign up for IGD's free Retail Analysis international newsletter here.