The first Belgian store of Dutch supermarket chain Jumbo is to open on 6 November in Pelt, near the Belgian-Dutch border. Expectations are running high, as the municipality is already supersaturated when it comes to supermarkets.
The place of the first store opening has been known for a while, but the date was announced just now: Wednesday 6 November. After that, stores will open in Rijkevorsel and Lanaken (also near the border), followed by Deurne and Beveren in a third phase.
Pelt is a remarkable choice for a first store, as it is opening right next to arch-rival Albert Heijn and discounter Aldi, while other competitors like Alvo, Colruyt, Delhaize, Peltri and Lidl also have a presence in the town. RetailSonar has calculated that after the opening of the new store, saturation in the market area will be as high as 215%, meaning competition will become extremely fierce.
However, Jumbo has already made a number of subtle changes in Belgium compared to the Netherlands: the chain does not want to launch a price war in Belgium and will therefore not stick to the lowest price guarantee that it applies in its home market. This may also indicate that the newcomer is preferring to avoid any direct confrontation with market leader Colruyt, whose operational director Marc Hofman said only last week that the newcomer can expect ‘a warm welcome’. Colruyt is convinced that Jumbo is not a threat to them, but it might be to some other competitors.
The managing director of Jumbo Belgium, Peter Isaac, has said in a press release: "We are convinced that there is plenty of room in Belgium for our unique concept. The customer does not have to choose between permanently low prices, or having a good shopping experience. At Jumbo, they can have it all: the best service, an exceptionally wide range of products, and permanently low prices. In the Netherlands, Jumbo has grown by always putting its customers first, continuously exceeding expectations, and by converting its customers into real fans. In Belgium, too, our company is being built entirely around the customer and our aim is for 100% of customers to be satisfied." Jumbo says that this way, it wants to renew the Belgian supermarket landscape.