Albert Heijn-Delhaize plans mean tougher competition for other supermarkets
Share article:
Share article:

Albert Heijn-Delhaize plans mean tougher competition for other supermarkets

© Wikimedia
An AH store in Lier in Flanders
© Wikimedia

Plans by the Dutch-Belgian supermarket giant Ahold-Delhaize to expand in Belgium, which we report elsewhere, could mean problems for competitors like Colruyt, market analysts said. The news that the Albert Heijn chain will not only stay but double the number of AH stores is “logical,” retail expert Jorg Snoeck told Het Nieuwsblad. When Ahold merged with Delhaize in 2016 it was expected that AH would withdraw from Flanders, where all of its stores are, so as not to compete with its own partner.

However it turns out that AH has created its own market niche, and competition between the two chains does not appear to be harmful. “There’s very little cannibalism,” said Delhaize CEO Xavier Piesvaux, explaining that the two chains together have the whole market covered.

The growth of both chains is more likely to be bad news for Colruyt, the market leader. According to consumer organisation Test-Aankoop, Colruyt’s prices are lower when there is an Albert Heijn in the local area – with AH forcing Colruyt to lower its prices. The more AH stores there are, the more widespread that effect will be, to the detriment of Colruyt’s margins.

To make matters worse, because Colruyt has a far more extensive network, one single AH store could have an effect on several branches of Colruyt.

The market is also now preparing itself for another Dutch arrival – the cost-cutting Jumbo chain, which though described by Piesvaux as a “non-event,” will nonetheless make its effect felt on chains like Aldi and Lidl, as well as Colruyt. Analysts argue Ahold-Delhaize will also be forced to react, with whatever knock-on effect that has.

Finally, Ahold-Delhaize intends to introduce pick-up points for its increasingly popular online shopping subsidiary Bol.com in Delhaize stores, in the expectation that buyers who come in to pick up packages will stay to do their shopping.

Alan Hope
The Brussels Times

Latest news

The Quiz: Chocolate, Christmas, and cocaine
Do you consider yourself a news buff? Someone constantly on top of what's going on in the country you now call home? Then maybe you have what it ...
Introduction of Covid Safe Ticket leads more in Brussels to get vaccinated
The introduction of the Covid Safe Ticket (CST) in the Brussels-Capital Region on 15 October seems to have lead to a higher number of residents ...
More and more testimonies, and a second rally against sexual violence in Brussels
A second rally against sexual violence was held in the Brussels neighbourhood of Ixelles on Thursday evening, and a sister-rally was held ...
Over 1,000 Covid-19 hospitalisations for first time since early June
The number of patients hospitalised in Belgium as a result of the coronavirus has again exceeded 1,000, climbing to 1,032, according to figures ...
Experts call for more widespread use of masks as figures rise
As coronavirus figures continue to rise, Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo has suggested that people return to wearing masks when indoors with ...
Belgium wants to recover €420 million in wrongfully paid out coronavirus aid
The Belgian State intends to recover €420 million of unduly paid Covid-19 aid, La Libre Belgique reported on Thursday. The electronic Council of ...
Why the fight for transgender rights is polarising Europe 
Year after year, Samuel De Schepper would ask Santa Claus to bring him a penis for Christmas. Born female and attending an all girl’s Catholic ...
New offshore wind farm officially opened
Despite being operational since the end of 2020, the SeaMade offshore wind farm was officially inaugurated on Wednesday by Prime Minister Alexander ...
Contact tracers have no time for calls, only texts, amid rising cases
Contract tracers will no longer make phone calls to the high-risk contacts of people who test positive for the coronavirus beginning from Wednesday, ...
Belgium holds on to top spot in FIFA rankings despite recent losses
Once again, Belgium's Red Devils have held onto their position at the top of the world football rankings, according to an update released by the ...
Proximus pushes for high-speed internet in Brussels and Wallonia
Fifteen municipalities in Wallonia should soon have access to high-speed internet through the rollout of fibre optics in the region, telecoms giant ...
Why Belgium is regulating sex work
After decades of confusing rules and hypocritical policy, Belgium is finally regulating sex work by removing prostitution from the criminal law. ...