Within Delhaize, they're working with different concepts, including AD Delhaize, City Delhaize, Shop&Go, Proxy Delhaize and Red Market. "We established Red Market in reaction to Aldi and Lidl in Belgium." Delhaize considers sustainability and health to be important pillars. "We have changed the formulas of several products. For instance, we've been using tonnes less fat, less salt and less sugar the past years. In Belgium, we also were the first to sell products with Stevia, an alternative sweetener. On products that offer health benefits, we put a heart. When it comes to sustainability, we reduce the use of plastic, for instance."
The fruit and veg department in Wezembeek
In 1985, Delhaize started its organic range. Delhaize has the largest range of organic products when compared to other Belgian retailers. "When it comes to organic market share, we're at about 30% in Belgium. All in all, we offer 590 organic products, a little over a 100 of those are fruit and vegetables", Oene says. "Organic is recognizable and successful at Delhaize, also because we introduced our own bio packaging." In the fruit and veg department, Delhaize had presented organic and conventional separately until 2008. "We did this so that non-organic customers were also able to discover organic. Now we have opted to separate organic and conventional again. This is because they immediately see the difference in price now. That meant we sold more organic in winter than in summer, because the price difference is much smaller in winter. Now we're giving extra attention to organic again in a different way. We think it's important that organic produce looks just as good as non-organic produce, so visually there is no difference with conventional. Otherwise the customer won't buy it."
Since this year, Delhaize has introduced a new concept, which has now been implemented in four stores. "We want to draw more attention to Delhaize, emphasizing the quality, freshness and good prices. What's new about the concept is that people in our stores will get a warmer, more pleasant and relaxed felling. For instance, we're making more room, putting more focus on produce, and in fresh we're creating a 'market effect'. There's more attention to 'bulk' presentation, and less packaging is used."
Other innovations at Delhaize are the introduction of the self scan, the quick scan and self pay. With the former, the customer scans each product and pays at the counter. The quick scan means that everything is scanned at the end. With self pay, the customers scan at the end, and also pay themselves."