Belgian supermarket chain Colruyt is moving forward without its Marketing Director Guy Elewaut. Shortly after announcing disappointing financial results, the champion of the chain’s lowest price policy left.
Low-price policy in question
The cooperation between Elewaut and the Belgian market leader was terminated on 15 December, the supermarket group confirmed to Belgian newspaper De Tijd. That is barely two days after the retailer had to admit disappointing half-year figures. Market share is down compared to the pre-pandemic years, sales are up only because of price increases and group profits have halved.
The chain of which Elewaut was marketing director, is feeling the drawback of its lowest price guarantee, which seems untenable in today’s particularly competitive supermarket landscape. An earlier analysis by our editor-in-chief proved that the chain faces an almost impossible task: can it (partially) change its lowest price DNA without causing mortal wounds to itself? And if yes, how? Opinions are very much divided, to say the least
Elewaut was the spearhead of the low price policy, Colruyt Group says. He was the mastermind behind some successful campaigns and he led the switch to electronic price labels. However, these “fine achievements” are perhaps no longer in line with the retailer’s vision of the future? Or did Elewaut, who was a journalist for many years and also previously worked at Delhaize, want to go in a different direction himself? In any case, the ex-marketing director certainly says it is time for something new.