Belgian supermarket chain Colruyt is finally back to its pre-pandemic market share levels, while profits will more than double. The retailer does warn for an upcoming price war.
“More relevant than ever”
Between April and August, the market share of Colruyt Group’s food formats rose by more than a percentage point to 32.2 %, while it had also risen slightly last financial year, from 30.8 % to 31 %. This puts the retailer back above pre-pandemic levels: in its 2019/20 financial year, market share stood at 32.1 %. With continued inflation, the lowest price guarantee is more relevant than ever, COO Jo Willemyns says. Colruyt Group released the figures at its shareholders’ meeting Wednesday evening.
The company did have more good news: it was able to pass on price increases more easily in recent months, as its competitors were doing so as well. As a result, profits in the current financial year will rise by at least 50 %, chairman Jef Colruyt predicts. However, he also warns for a looming price war after a long period with historically low promotional pressure. “There is a lot of promotional violence coming our way, but we will respond appropriately”. In addition, competitors are lowering prices of their basic products.
The acquisition of 57 Match and Smatch supermarkets will further increase Colruyt’s market share. The retailer did not comment on the acquisition price, but it does say that it will spend an extra 100 million for the conversion of the shops. The money comes from the sale of its wind farm branch Parkwind.