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"At CRU we don't have twenty types of tomatoes, only flavourful ones"

Simplicity is key

This weekend, Colruyt's new concept, named CRU, is officially opened. The first CRU store in Overijse is a reality. When you walk in, you already smell the delicious products. Experience is paramount. Colruyt wants to go in a new direction with CRU, offering products that aren't available in 'regular' Colruyt stores. Back to passion for the trade, and the authentic flavours of yore.

CRU Overijse is housed in a farm, and simplicity is key. It's a place to come together and enjoy pure flavours. Specifically for people with a passion for tasty food. The product range changes daily, nothing is standard. Tasting, feeling and smelling: it's all possible at CRU.

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Fruit and veg department
The various trades are divided into departments, and every product group is manned by experts who know their profession. From poulterer to wine sommelier, they're all present at CRU. The consumer is guided throughout their shopping process, always able to ask questions. The CRU store starts with the fruit and veg department, where products are presented in crates. "We offer what the season gives, and don't want to offer too many products. We don't have twenty types of tomatoes here either. The consumer won't suffer stress due to an abundance of choice. We only have flavourful products. When tasty tomatoes aren't available, we don't include them in our range. It's that simple," manager Jeroen van Belleghem explains. "The focus of fruit and vegetables is not necessarily on organic or local, but if they offer added value for us, we'll definitely carry them."

Inspirational kitchen
CRU wants to help people who don't know what they want to cook. That's why there's a chef in the inspirational kitchen. "What we offer in the store varies, so we also make something new every day in our kitchen. Consumers can get ideas, and we also explain how to prepared something," the chef says.

Jean-Pierre Roelands
Jean-Pierre Roelands is the store concepts director and has established the concept together with his team. He says he's 'very proud' that this dream was realized. "The idea is to go back to the essence, and to respond to local demands. Not always with local products, although that's often the case. CRU is not a luxury store, but a special store with everyday products. We want to do the everyday things well. Our vision: Enjoying simplicity is a true luxury!" He also mentioned the CRU principles, where simplicity once again shined through. "Live the experience," that's also an important principle for CRU. "The core concept is a chain of passion. That starts with the producer, whom we know, and ends with a passionate consumer. Our customers are 'soul mates', people who love handling food and enjoy eating. We've only just started, but the idea is for us to operate on three levels with CRU. The first is the raw product, the second the processed product (peeled, for instance) and the last level is a fully prepared product. Tailored to all customer demands."

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Jean Pierre Roelands is proud of the new concept


Despite the simplicity of the product, CRU does use the latest technologies. Upon entering the store, you get a tablet and a CRU card, and you'll be asked to scan the QR code. The tablet can be attached to the trolley, allowing the customer to scan their own products. There is no checkout counter. According to project manager Leen, people don't want to waste time checking out. "That's why they can check out at the payment pillar, and also through mobile payment. We want to use as little paper as possible, so the receipt is sent by e-mail. Customers can also make a personal CRU page."

Other CRUs
If the CRU concept succeeds in Overijse, Colruyt will also open other CRUs in the future. "Every CRU will have its own identity, and the product range will also vary from one CRU to another. We respond to what the local customer requires."
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