According to the annual price survey of the consumer watchdog publication Test Achats/Test Aankoop, Colruyt has been found to be the cheapest supermarket in Belgium for the tenth year in a row. However, the difference with the Netherlands-based retailer, Albert Heijn, is very small. A shopping cart with branded, private label and unbranded products, vegetables and fruit is only 1 percent cheaper at Colruyt than its Dutch rival. Those who do not buy fruit and vegetables are better off at Albert Heijn.
Discounters such as Aldi and Lidl are not included in this comparison because their selection of national and international brands is too limited.
Yet not all Colruyt shops are equally cheap. For example, with an Albert Heijn store nearby, Colruyt is 3 percent cheaper than a Colruyt store that has no Dutch competitor in the vicinity. “Albert Heijn is competing fiercely with Colruyt, which has to make an effort to undercut the prices of the Dutch supermarket,” says Test Achats spokesman Simon November.
And Albert Heijn is not the only Dutch supermarket Colruyt has to worry about. Test Achats points to the arrival of the Dutch supermarket chain Jumbo, which will open in Belgium next year.
A price comparison by research agency Daltix showed that almost three quarters of the branded products at Jumbo are cheaper than at Colruyt. The average price difference was eleven percent. “It therefore looks as if a new price war among the supermarkets is imminent,” says November.
Calculated on the average annual expenditure per person, Colruyt (€2,080) and Albert Heijn (€2,127) are still in the lead, followed by Okay. Carrefour follows with €2,256. Between €2,290 and 2,326, are the supermarkets of the Carrefour group, Makro and the supermarkets of the Delhaize group (Delhaize and AD Delhaize). The most costly supermarkets are Intermarché (€2,373), Cora (€2,391) and Match (€2,456). Test Aankoop based this comparisonon the prices that supermarket chains promote on their websites.
The consumer organisation also asked about 17,000 subscribers about their satisfaction with their supermarket. In that category, Bio-Planet scored best, followed by Okay and Colruyt. Bio-Planet and Okay are part of the Colruyt group.