In Memoriam: Belgian retail icon Jacques Dopchie

De voormalige Grand Bazar in Antwerpen

Belgian retailers mourn the death of Jacques Dopchie, who rebuilt the old Grand Bazar (pictured) into the modernised retail empire GB Inno BM. Dopchie and his wife died together, at the age of 90.

 

Retail empire

Dopchie started his career at UCB in 1952, but the following year he already made the switch to the Grand Bazar department store in Antwerp. That became "GB", leading to the GB Inno BM merger in 1974. The chain continued for 26 years, before being acquired by Carrefour in 2000.

 

Between 1971 and 1991, Dopchie was the managing director at the retail group and one of the driving forces behind the expansion of the empire. Under his leadership, DIY chain Brico and car parts chain Auto5 were founded. Dopchie got a lot of inspiration from the United States and at the end of the 1970s, his GB was the first chain to launch so-called "white products" (private label products).

 

Dopchie was also the founder and former president of the Institute of the Enterprise and former president of Eurocommerce (the European retail federation).