Belgium's biggest supermarket chain, Colruyt, is starting a test with home deliveries in Brussels. So far, the discounter only offered click-and-collect. The trial should demonstrate whether the service is "acceptable for customers and sustainable for us".
Residents of five municipalities in the East of Brussels (Kraainem, Sterrebeek, Wezembeek-Oppem, Woluwe-Saint-Lambert and Woluwe-Saint-Pierre) can use the new service to have their groceries delivered at home. "We take deliveries in our own hands, because we want to make the difference with a personal and customer-friendly service - as we do in the pick-up points", Colruyt's Tom Deprater says. The orders will be delivered on weekdays between 4 and 9 p.m., and on Saturday mornings from 8 till 12.
Only orders upwards of 100 euros will be delivered at home, and still there is a 9.5 euro delivery fee - on top of the 5.5 euro service fee to prepare the order in the store that is also charged for click-and-collect. This may be an unusually high service fee in the competitive market of e-commerce, but as Deprater says: "We have given careful thought to that fee, but we want to offer home deliveries in a responsible way and we believe this is a realistic fee that allows us to create a feasible business model. This test wil show us whether this fee is acceptable for customers and at the same time sustainable for us." The price of the products themselves is the same as in other channels and the lowest price guarantee is upheld.
The deliveries will be done by cars running on CNG (compressed natural gas), meaning they emit less CO2 than conventional cars. Moreover, Colruyt Group is running some trials with vehicles on electricity or hydrogen, further lowering the total emissions.
The trial, which Colruyt says originated when they found out about the demand of certain customers for this kind of service. However, the company says that "pick-up points remain our focus". The test will last till this autumn and will show whether home deliveries can go together with sustainable entrepreneurship and at the same time meet customers' demands.