French frozen foods chain Picard Surgelés has opened its first store in Antwerp, viewing Belgium as a prime expansion target. It believes it has a better chance of succeeding than recently bankrupted O’Cool.
Belgium and Sweden prime expansion targets
Picard had previously opened a store in Brasschaat and is planning another addition in Mortsel (both near Antwerp). Within 5 years, the chain hopes to have sixty Belgian stores, employing 200 additional people. “We believe the Belgian audience in large part has the same gastronomical appetite as the French”, CEO PhilippePauze told Belgian newspaper De Morgen. “Belgians expect both innovation and high quality and we can offer that.”
Picard Surgelés will be selling part of the French array of products, but if the Belgian strategy is deemed successful, managing director Frédéric Bobée aims to manufacture local products as well. Along with Sweden, Belgium is the chain's new prime target, after a successful launch in Italy. Picard is a well-known franchise in France, with currently 910 stores, adding some 20 stores every year.