Dutch supermarket chain Jumbo will come to Belgium with its largest store concept ‘Foodmarkt’, revealed CEO Frits van Eerd at a presentation for Jumbo entrepreneurs. The concept mixes a supermarket with a restaurant. An up-market concept may mean Jumbo would target (Ahold) Delhaize rather than Colruyt.
At the presentation, Van Eerd talked about the imminent introduction of Jumbo in Belgium. The locations for which the contracts are on the table, have an area that is intended for Foodmarkt-like stores. That is a large supermarket concept that combines catering elements with retail: the store has a restaurant and also sells warm meals for take-away. The first branch opened in Breda in March 2013 and since then, the retailer has opened four more Foodmarkt stores in Amsterdam, Groningen, Leidsche Rijn and Veghel. This kind of store would place Jumbo in competition with Delhaize (subsidiary of its arch rival Ahold), rather than with Belgian market leader Colruyt. Both Jumbo and Colruyt have a lowest price guarantee, so placing itself in another niche may be a smart move.
In addition to the large Foodmarkt stores, Jumbo also developed the smaller city store concept Jumbo City: these are convenience stores that also focus heavily on meals. With the acquisition of restaurant chain La Place in 2016, the company has acquired a lot of catering know-how.
CEO Van Eerd also emphasized, according to those present, that the start of Jumbo in Belgium is decisive for the foreign adventure. “In the unlikely event that the first stores do not go well, Jumbo will stop in Belgium”, Van Eerd said in front of the franchisers. There was no press present at the meeting, but Dutch retail website Distrifood gathered some reactions afterwards.