Dutch supermarket chain Albert Heijn is expanding home deliveries of online orders to Belgium, nine years after opening its first store there and just a day after launching its Belgian app. The expansion starts in nine municipalities in the Antwerp region.
“Keeping costs low”
85.000 families in Aartselaar, Antwerp (two districts only), Borsbeek, Edegem, Hemiksem, Hove, Kontich, Lint and Mortsel are the first to try out the new project, making their orders through the retailer's website or brand new app (that was released just yesterday).
Orders need to be bigger than 50 euros, but the delivery costs attached will not go beyond 5 euros. The home delivery service will give access to 7000 SKUs with prices identical to those in the stores. Orders will be delivered six days per week (excluding Sundays) in a 30 minute window. The system will be operational starting 5 August.
"I believe we can alter the market with this proposal, and that it will add to our image", general manager Raf Van den Heuvel told our editor. Five euros is a very sharp price compared to its competitors. Moreover, the chain can now adopt an 'online first' approach in several municipalities where it does not yet have physical stores: "When we open a store there, and rest assured: that is our ambition, the customers will already know our products." Van den Heuvel confirms his chain's target of a hundred Belgian stores, currently the number stands at 52.
The fulfilment will be done from the Netherlands: orders will be shipped from Albert Heijn's Home Shop Center in Eindhoven and sent to the hub in Turnhout, from where distinctive blue vans will depart to the customers. More local hubs will follow as the project expands.
This is an excellent time to start home deliveries, Van den Heuvel thinks: "Everything connected to e-commerce is booming, whether it is food or non-food. For us, this will be a huge step forward from the Pick Up Points we have today.