Dutch chain Jumbo is preparing its conquest of Belgium in silence, but our editor-in-chief has found out which six towns will be among the first to welcome the yellow supermarket chain, based on permit procedures and other documents.
East, Centre and West
It is no secret that Jumbo's first secured location was in Bree, in the North-Eastern corner of Belgium. Three more locations have already been revealed in the same province (Limburg): Lanaken, Lommel and Overpelt - all three towns having a border with the Netherlands. Another location that has been revealed is that of Rijkevorsel, close to the Dutch border in the province of Antwerp. The odd one out is Roeselare, in the southern part of the province West Flanders.
The Dutch retailer has been moving quietly but steadily towards Belgium in the last few months, with the foundation of a Belgian branch, the appointment of a Belgian director and the choice for a Belgian real estate manager. Analysts expect that Jumbo will start its Belgian activities with a 'big bang': sources in the real estate sector mention up to thirty locations. Jumbo is thought to plan an expansion with its largest (Foodmarkt) concept, featuring a restaurant of its subsidiary La Place. This expansion may have severe consequences for the Belgian food retail market, especially for market leader Colruyt and Ahold Delhaize, the parent company of Jumbo's main rival Albert Heijn.