Colruyt is pulling the plug on its non-food webshop Collishop. The Belgian retailer wants to focus its non-food sales in specialists like Dreambaby.
Future belongs to specialists
According to the retail group, the future belongs to specialists with a clear image, spelling the end for its general-purpose web platform on 9 November. Colruyt has four more specialised store chains, each with an online extension: Dreambaby, Dreamland, Fiets! and MyUnderwear24. The group emphasises that this is no cost-cutting measure, but rather a realignment of funds: no jobs will be lost and investments in online will not be reduced. The specialised webshops are simply better equipped to cater for "consumers' evolving needs", a press release states.
Collishop was founded in 1983 and became one of Belgium's biggest webshops, but will now be almost completely closed down. Only its Professional branch, catering for businesses and child day care centres, remains active. One of the shop's strengths, its extensive pick-up point network, will be kept open to cater for the four specialist webshops.
"E-commerce is heading for a big divide: on the one hand, huge international platforms emerge, and on the other hand there are the specialists. We now choose to be active in the categories in which we can really be relevant", director non-food Dieter Struys told RetailDetail. "Rather than continuing Collishop's broad range, we want to become true specialists."
400 pick-up points
The true power of the group is the combination of its specialised chains (and connected online platforms) and the strength in unity of the group, Struys states. "We will focus our means and attention on the online presence of our specialists, while keeping an eye on the strength of the whole group - take for example our 400 pick-up points for non-food, which we will continue to expand."
Colruyt has been investing heavily in its non-food activities, acquiring bike chain Fiets! en incorporating fashion chain Zeb. Struys claims there are "no concrete ideas" for further non-food acquisitions, but "if an interesting opportunity arises, we will take it."