Dutch supermarket chain Jumbo is on the move in Belgium: after receiving a building permit from the municipality of Heusden-Zolder in Northeast-Belgium, the company has also announced concrete plans for its first store in West-Flanders.
Eight million euros
Jumbo's plans for Heusden-Zolder became public in early 2019 and will require an investment of 8 million euros. The new supermarket will take the place of a Thielens store, that will be replaced by a larger building including eighteen appartments and a parking space. No problems are expected for the project, and the municipality states in local newspaper Het Nieuwsblad that "no objections against the new supermarket were made".
The Koolmijnlaan, where Jumbo is due to open soon, already features supermarkets of four competitors: Aldi, Lidl, Carrefour Market and Erpa. Mehmet Özçiftçi, who runs the latter, does not fear his new competitor: "We have a supermarket with specific products." Aldi, too, does not feel worried: "Our store concept is strong enough to keep attracting customers", spokesperson Dieter Snoeck says. “Our recent investment in Heusden proves that we believe in this location."
Empty printing shop
In Roeselare, in the coastal province West-Flanders, Jumbo will take the place of Crea Printing Industries. Its printing shop has been empty for two years, but Het Nieuwsblad has learnt that owner Beco Retail Invest has applied for a permit to take down the old building and replace it with two stores. One of those, measuring almost 2,000 sqm, would go to the Dutch chain. Jumbo would also be able to use a newly built parking lot for 208 cars and 143 bikes.
The city confirms that it has received the application, but that during the procedure no statements can be made. Anyone can still object to the plans until 6 February, and Het Nieuwsblad has learnt that a group of locals is indeed collecting signatures against the project, fearing a rise in traffic in the area.