Dutch supermarket chain Jumbo has opened its second store in Belgium, barely two weeks after the first one. In Rijkevorsel too, competition will be fierce, but the retailer says to know how to make a difference.
The town next to the Belgo-Dutch border already has supermarket aplenty: Dutch rival Albert Heijn opened there last summer - in the same retail park, while also Aldi (also in the same park), Delhaize and Lidl have a presence there - as will market leader Colruyt when their planned Okay store opens. This store will try to lure in customers by focusing on quality foods and drinks - especially fresh produce, beer and wine.
About a hundred customers - many of whom are used to driving a fair while to the nearest Dutch store - were waiting in line for the opening of their new supermarket, local newspaper Het Laatste Nieuws wrote. Analysts think this may lead to a price war, because even though Jumbo does not use its lowest price guarantee (as it does in the Netherlands), its Belgian first store has still positioned its price levels below Albert Heijn's and was recently proven to be 17 % cheaper than its Dutch counterparts. Consumer watchdog Test Aankoop has expressed its fear that local price wars could lead to a drop in quality.
CEO Frits van Eerd said that "This first store in the province of Antwerp is a dream come true. Our company has achieved its fair share of milestones already, but this is a very special one." He hopes the Rijkevorsel store will be as successful as the first Belgian store in Pelt, which exceeded all expectations by as much as 50 %, CFO Ton Van Veen said. The chain wants to open one more Belgian store today, followed by a dozen next year and hopes to achieve a hundred in the whole of Belgium in the long run.