Focusing on urban growth

Colruyt Group sees considerable potential to achieve growth in urban environments. Our different store formats enable us to perfectly meet the needs of the growing group of urban residents, offering them an appropriate range of products and services in each city and neighbourhood. 

Increasing market share

Our goal is to quickly boost our presence in the cities. After all, urbanised areas continue to attract increasing numbers of people, including lots of young people and families. These consumers are less brand loyal, so we want to make sure we are visibly present in their world.

Over the next ten years, we will be focusing on urban development, with priority given to Brussels, Antwerp and Ghent. We are planning to open dozens of new Okay Compact stores, alongside extra Colruyt stores and Collect&Go collection points, in these locations. The ultimate goal is to increase our market share in the major cities from around 20% to our national average of over 30%. 

Collect&Go Walk-in
We choose the most suitable store format based on customer needs.

A custom plan

For our urban expansion, we are developing a plan for each city down to the neighbourhood or ‘village’ level and based on the local socio-demographic profile. This way, each area is given a unique identity based on customer needs and we can determine how to tailor each store format to these. Factors considered are whether or not the store will be open on Sunday, ample or little parking, and so on.

Based on previous studies, we have defined a number of neighbourhood models with corresponding store solutions. We can easily use these same concepts again, so that we do not have to start from scratch with every expansion plan.

Flexible store formats

We tailor our store formats to the realities of the city, with its diverse customer needs, competitive landscape and availability of potential locations. In Brussels, for example, we can only opt for a smaller 800 m² Colruyt store instead of the usual 1,500 m². We can also integrate our stores into residential complexes, such as Colruyt Schaerbeek, which has three residential floors.

Flexible and scalable store concepts are easy to integrate into any neighbourhood. 
In the city, we supplement our basic ranges with specific products.

Adapted product ranges

We offer an adapted product range to city customers, with more items packaged individually or in smaller packages. After all, cities are home to relatively large numbers of smaller households, such as singles and single parents. They often make smaller grocery shopping trips because they do not have a car or have a smaller house with less storage space. We also supplement the basic range in keeping with the specifics of the area, such as the standard of living, diversity, potential for on-the-go or a higher demand for organic products. Price continues to be an important factor in all our formats. In the future, the price aspect will play an even greater role at the neighbourhood discounter Okay Compact, for instance.

Safe and efficient logistics

Now that cars are increasingly less welcome in major cities, there is a growing need for grocery stores located closer to customers, which in turn leads to more freight transport in city centres. As a retailer, we therefore focus on more efficient and safer store inventory delivery.

* Our 800 drivers and deliverers are committed to safe and courteous traffic. We offer custom training courses for city driving.
* We invest in awareness raising, with annual blind spot sessions for 10,000 school-age children.
* We limit the number of deliveries and consult local authorities regarding delivery times.
* And we invest in a modernised fleet of vehicles. Our food service company Solucious uses electric refrigerated trucks for quiet and environmentally friendly deliveries in Brussels. In the major cities, deliveries are also often made by cargo bike.
* We test deliveries to city stores with smaller trucks departing from a hub in the urban outskirts. 

Colruyt Group truck driver instructs pupils on blind spots. Our drivers make students aware of blind spots. 
Electric refrigerated truck from Solucious Solucious uses electric refrigerated trucks for quiet and environmentally friendly deliveries.

Our key focal areas for urban expansion

  • Okay, Okay Compact and Okay Direct. Custom store formats for every city resident
  • Collect&Go. More collection points for vulnerable road users and home delivery
  • Bike Republic. Facilitator of sustainable urban mobility
  • Colruyt Professionals. Centrally located wholesaler for professional customers  
Okay Compact in Ghent Okay Compact aims to open six new locations every year. 

Okay Compact: everything in less than 400 m²

At the start of 2024, the city formula Okay Compact (2012) had 17 locations, of which six are in Brussels, five in Antwerp and three in Ghent. 

  • Open seven days a week
  • Easy to reach by bike or foot
  • 3,000 references, all daily grocery necessities
  • Focus on fresh products and on-the-go: coffee to go, sandwiches, salads, etc.

Okay Direct: available 24/7

Okay Direct is our automatic self-service store for daily groceries outside of regular opening hours. This highly successful concept was launched at the end of 2021 and is continuously fine-tuned.

  • Always open, primarily attracts young student shoppers and local residents
  • Access, shop and pay via the Xtra app
  • Around 600 references in 150 m²
  • Primarily fresh products, ‘emergency’ items and on-the-go
Man shopping in Okay Direct Ghent Okay Direct is testing two stores in the Ghent city centre.
Woman collecting groceries at Collect&Go Walk-in in Sint-Gillis Via Collect&Go Walk-in, we are getting better acquainted with city customers and attracting new customers.

Collect&Go Walk-in: easy shopping in the heart of the city

Our online grocery shopping service is testing two Walk-in custom collection points for pedestrians and cyclists in Brussels. 

  • Colruyt and Bio-Planet ranges in only 25 m² of space
  • Space for packing shopping bags, loaner trolleys, plastic and cardboard recycling, etc.

Collect&Go home delivery

In urban areas, customers can have their Collect&Go orders delivered directly to their home. 

  • Home delivery via own delivery drivers. Launched in mid-2022 in Brussels and Antwerp, with orders prepared in the Londerzeel distribution centre.
  • Drivers as official share-economy platform. Individuals pick up online orders at a collection point and deliver them to the customer’s home for a small fee. Service with over 2,000 active delivery drivers. 
Collect&Go driver delivering at home With its home delivery service, Collect&Go also reaches lots of new customers.
Bike Republic Schaerbeek Bike Republic Schaerbeek: fully electric cargo bikes for private and professional users. 

Bike Republic promotes sustainable mobility

Our bike specialist Bike Republic is well represented in dense urban areas  and in Ghent, Antwerp and Brussels. The branch that opened in Schaerbeek at the end of 2023 is the first to offer exclusively electric cargo bikes, also as a sustainable transport alternative for professionals. Thanks to better infrastructure and other measures, more and more companies and self-employed professionals are using electric cargo bikes for their home deliveries and services.

Colruyt Professionals: efficiency at its finest

The two Colruyt Professionals stores in Brussels target professional buyers such as grocers and night shops. These stores feature lots of beverages and snacks, bulk products, larger shopping carts, wider aisles and longer opening hours. This guarantees wholesalers efficient services, while alleviating pressure on nearby Colruyt stores.

Colruyt Professionals Schaerbeek Colruyt Professionals serves professional customers while at the same time alleviating pressure on other city stores. 

How do we aim to achieve growth in the B2B market? By combining the strengths of our brands in a strong joint offer. Find out what our approach is.

Thanks to investments in new technologies and innovations, we are retail-ready for the future. Discover them in our stores.