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Belgium : Carrefour plans to open 100% organic stores and 24-hour express shops

Inspired by the Carrefour initiative in France, the Belgian group will open a supermarket chain specifically dedicated to organic products by June 2019. In addition to the organic merchandise, these stores will also offer “healthy” products without gluten, or without lactose for example.

The first supermarkets will open in large urban areas like Brussels, where they will compete with Colruyt and its Bio-Planet stores. “We are convinced that opening a Carrefour Bio supermarket in 2019 is the next logical step. Not only to duplicate what already exists but to enhance our offer by proposing a qualitative experience,” explains Geoffroy Gersdorff, General Secretary of Carrefour Belgium.

Organic products account for 2.5% of the revenue of Carrefour. With its new organic chain, the retailer wishes to target new customers primarily. “At the moment, our three branches are visited at least once a year by 80% of the Belgian households. Among the remaining 20%, some people shop in specialized stores. It is this specific clientele that we want to attract,” explains Carrefour spokesman Baptiste van Outryve. “We will add another line of organic products, with new brands which we do not market in our stores yet. The goal is not only to change the store’s logo but to create an entirely new branch.”

Moreover, the supermarket group plans to experiment with a Carrefour Express store which will be highly automated and open 24 hours a day, every day. Mr van Outryve explains: “People will go in and indicate on a screen what they want to buy. They will pay and a machine will prepare their order right away.”

If the experiment turns out to be a success, Carrefour plans to open this type of stores in locations with a high potential and limited space, such as highly frequented urban areas or train stations.

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