Colruyt remains the cheapest supermarket in Belgium, according to a new survey by Test-Aankoop, but the difference with Albert Heijn is marginal. Remarkable is the large price difference between Flanders and the southern, French-speaking, part of the country.
7 per cent more expensive in Brussels and Wallonia
For a shopping basket consisting of a mix of brands, private labels and own brands, Colruyt and its online shopping service Collect&Go are still the cheapest supermarkets in Belgium, according to the latest supermarket survey by consumer organisation Test-Aankoop. In the regions where Colruyt responds to the prices paid at Albert Heijn - which has been the case all over Flanders for a few months - the price difference with the Dutch is just under 1 per cent.
The cheapest Colruyt stores are, therefore, located in Flanders, according to Test-Aankoop. It is a logical outcome of the pressure that both Albert Heijn and Jumbo are putting on prices in the northern part of the country. The downside is that consumers pay on average 7 per cent more for their shopping at a Colruyt in Brussels or Wallonia. Sometimes the difference is even bigger: a Dr. Oetker pizza cost 2.99 euros at the Colruyt in Waterloo, and only 1.78 euros at the Colruyt in Aalter, a price difference of 68 per cent.
Impact of virtual supermarkets
Okay, Colruyt Group's convenience store formula also reacts to Albert Heijn's prices and is, on average, 7 per cent more expensive than Colruyt. Okay-stores that are not located in the market area of an Albert Heijn are 15 per cent more expensive. The stores of the Carrefour group are 15 to 19 per cent more expensive than the cheapest Colruyt outlets. Spar, (AD) Delhaize, Intermarché and Makro are 21 to 22 per cent more expensive, and Match is even 31 per cent more expensive.
Test-Aankoop not only notices the competition between supermarkets is much harder in Flanders than in the southern part but also expects an impact of new purchasing habits: consumers are buying their food online more often, and, in time, the traditional model could be shaken up the organisation believes. Since today Hopr, the first supermarket without a physical store is fully operational in Hasselt, and later this month C-Mercado is expected to launch in Antwerp. Also, today Carrefour Belgium inaugurated a new e-commerce distribution centre with a capacity of 5000 orders per day.