Ahold Delhaize's non-food webshop bol.com is due to open its French version in June, starting its offensive in Brussels and Wallonia. On its annual general meeting, the Dutch retail group also approved a prolonged Belgian presence in its supervisory board.
Bol.com wants to accelerate its growth in Belgium with the implementation of its French language version in June, following the announcement of its launch "in the summer of 2020" late last year. The web platform, which is currently already working with 20,000 partners in Belgium and the Netherlands, has already started a campaign to look for French-language partners as well. The search is important, as partners are already worth half the sales in the webshop.
The Dutch webshop (with German origins in the Bertelsmann conglomerate) expanded to Belgium in 2014, but only had a Dutch language version to work with. Its expansion in Belgium includes an ever closer cooperation with local supermarket Delhaize, whose stores have been designated as bol.com pick-up points last year. Last September also saw a first joint commercial action, as the back-to-school campaign included mutual discounts.
The Belgian acceleration is a necessity for bol.com, which is expected to suffer heavily from Amazon's recent expansion to the Netherlands. In the French-speaking part of Belgium, Amazon.fr already is the main e-commerce player - despite the fact that the American giant still not has succeeded in purchasing the Amazon.be domain. Dutch speakers, however, still had to shop at a special corner at German platform Amazon.de - until last month.
At the general meeting, shareholders also decided to grant Dominique Leroy another term in the supervisory board, despite the issues she had with the alleged insider trading of Proximus shares - which made her miss out on a lucrative job at telecom operator KPN. She will be the only Belgian left on the board, as Jacques de Vaucleroy - the last remaining member of Delhaize's founding family - has decided to retire.