Supermarkets top list of largest store chains

Carrefour Market
Foto Carrefour

Three supermarket chains (Carrefour Market, Colruyt and Aldi) top the list of 100 largest Belgian store chains in terms of retail space. Shoe chain Bristol is rising fast, as are Lapperre, Oh'Green and Maxi Toys. In terms of number of stores, the banks are still in the lead.


Banks shrink, but hold lead

Each year, Locatus publishes two lists of the 100 biggest store chains in Belgium, sorted for number of stores and total retail space. The former is still firmly in the grip of the financial sector, even though the number of banks in Belgium is still decreasing rapidly. For example, BNP Paribas Fortis closed 81 stores, but maintains its top position.


Supermarkets make up seven of the ten largest retail chains in terms of total retail space: not all that surprising, as they are large stores with a fine spread across the country. For a few years now, the podium remains unchainged: Carrefour Market leads the pack, in front of Colruyt and Aldi. In the past decade, especially Hubo and Lidl have been growing impressively.


Some go up, some go down

The biggest grower in the last edition however is shoe chain Bristol, climbing from 82nd to 42nd in terms of number of stores. Considering retail space, Bristol climbed eighteen places and nears the 100,000 sqm milestone. The difference in size between Belgian and Dutch Bristol stores is huge: in the Netherlands the chain needs far fewer stores (118) to get 25 % more retail space.


The Oh'Green garden centres have expanded from 57,032 sqm to 85,522 sqm, mostly as it incorporated its competitor chains Walter van Gastel and Intratuin. Maxi Toys took over the Belgian Bart Smit stores and added 7,000 sqm to its former total of 21,000. In terms of number of stores, the biggest climbers are hearing aid chain Lapperre, drugstore chain Goed Apotheek and pizza chain Domino's.


The list in terms of retail space (green: supermarket, purple: DIY, pink: furniture)

The ten biggest retail chains in Belgium (by total retail space)