Dutch e-tailer Coolblue has announced it will open its third store in Antwerp. It will be three times as big as the current store, its oldest existing store in Belgium. As such, the plans symbolise Coolblue’s explosive growth in Belgium.
Three times bigger
Antwerp has always been Coolblue’s cornerstone in Belgium: the Dutch company opened its first (tiny) physical store in Belgium in Antwerp’s city centre in 2007, but soon moved away to a 500 sqm store in more suburbian Wilrijk. As part of its huge expansion in Belgium, this store now also proves to be too small, and therefore Coolblue has announced today it will move shop just a few hundred metres, to a 1500 sqm store that was vacated after baby store chain Orchestra-Prémaman quit Belgium’s Dutch-speaking market.
All forty employees will make the move, and at least fifteen new jobs will be created, CEO Pieter Zwart announced in a press release. His company, originally a pure player, has depended on its physical stores for a long time now through what Zwart calls the “stone through the window”-principle: sales are reportedly a lot higher near the company’s physical stores “as people believe that, if they are not satisfied, they can come throw a stone through our shop window”.
Coolblue is expanding rapidly in and outside of its Dutch home market, with the release of a French version of its webshop coinciding with the opening of a first store in Brussels. Almost precisely a year ago, the company launched its German web shop and a first physical store in Germany is planned to open before the end of the year. At the moment, Coolblue has seventeen stores in Belgium and the Netherlands, with several more in the pipeline.