French frozen food chain Thiriet wants to conquer Belgium and has just opened its first store, pick-up point included, in Waterloo. It remains to be seen how many additional stores will follow, but there will definitely be more.
180 stores and 1.5 million customers
The first Belgian store (look at the photos here) is a franchise store, launched by Eric Hubert who is also responsible for the Belgian Leader Price stores.
The French chain may not be well-known in Belgium, it is the second largest frozen food chain in France and even the market leader when it comes to home delivery of frozen food. In France, it trails Picard, another frozen food chain that launched its Belgian assault in Waterloo. In total, Thiriet has 180 stores (Luxembourg included) and 2,800 employees, who welcome 1.5 million customers per year. Its yearly turnover is some 400 million euro.
The company has its roots in Eloyes, located in the Vosges, where Claude Thiriet took control of the family bakery in 1966. He launched a catalog home delivery service a few years later and opened his first frozen food store in 1985. Now, the company has 180 stores, usually 250 - 350 sqm. Each store has some 1,200 products, ranging from 450 types of ice cream and pastries to fruit and vegetables, meat, fish and prepared meals.