Follow our updates on the coronavirus here

In exceptional circumstances, information and communication are very important. Consequently, we are keeping a close track of the situation concerning the coronavurus and we immediately put all available information online. As a result, our customers and partners are aware of the services we provide and the precautions we take to slow down the virus in its advance. On this page, you can find the updates of Colruyt Group's measures and approach with regard to the coronavirus.

24/03


Colruyt Group and Delhaize organise wide-ranging direct supply of Belgian hospital personnel

On Thursday 19 March, Colruyt Group announced it had elaborated a customised solution for the UVC Brugmann and UZ Leuven hospitals to deliver food supplies to their personnel in their workplace. The interest and reactions from the hospital sector to join this solution is huge. Colruyt Group is therefore happy to see that other players on the Belgian retail market are following this initiative: Delhaize starts supplying food products to the UZA Edegem personnel as from this week. The main objective is to make sure hospital personnel does not have to worry about buying food for themselves and their family as long as the coronacrisis lasts: together we are stronger.

In collaboration with UVC Brugmann and UZ Leuven, Colruyt Group started installing the logistic infrastructure in both hospitals in the past few days. The separate website on the Solucious platform, on which hospital personnel can order their groceries, is completely ready. UVC Brugmann and UZ Leuven hospital staff could place orders since last weekend. The first deliveries take place on Tuesday 24 and Wednesday 25 March. From then on, deliveries to the hospitals will follow within two working days after the order.

Other hospitals all over Belgium showed their interest in this service. Consequently, Colruyt Group steps up Solucious’ logistic capacity to deliver the online orders of about 30,000 hospital care providers. The group intends to make this full capacity operational gradually by Monday 30 March 2020 at the latest. The practical details are being discussed with the hospitals involved. However, the demand from the hospital sector continues to grow. Colruyt Group is therefore pleased to see that other retailers are following the initiative and that Delhaize has set up its own system to start delivering food products to UZA Edegem.

Marc Hofman, COO Retail of Colruyt Group: "Many hospitals are interested in the service we developed for UVC Brugmann and UZ Leuven and contacted us to develop a solution for their personnel as well. In these difficult times, our main concern is to make sure hospital care providers do not have to worry about buying food for themselves and their family for as long as the coronacrisis last. However, it is impossible for Colruyt Group alone to serve 100% of all hospital care providers in Belgium. Consequently, I am very happy that Delhaize is also developing this service in order to allow as many hospital employees in Belgium to use our initiative. It confirms once again that joining forces makes us strong enough to face these challenging times."

19/03


Colruyt Group elaborates shopping solution for employees of two Belgian hospitals

Colruyt Group elaborates a customised solution with two large Belgian hospitals to supply their employees' food purchases to their workplace. Hospital personnel of UZ Leuven and UVC Brugmann will soon be able to order online. The orders will be delivered to the hospitals by means of a separate logistic network. The service will be rolled out gradually in consultation with the hospitals. Colruyt Group wants to dispel the hospital staff's concerns about buying food products for themselves and their families as long as the coronacrisis lasts.

In these exceptional times when COVID-19 is spreading more and more, hospitals are faced with serious challenges. Health care providers work long days and pressure on hospitals is expected to rise in the weeks ahead. This means that hospital employees have little time to do their daily shopping.

On request of and in close consultation with two large Belgian hospitals, UVC Brugmann and UZ Leuven, Colruyt Group is developing a solution for their personnel. The group will make the necessary logistic system available for this purpose. Marc Hofman, COO Retail of Colruyt Group: "In the past few weeks, our 30,000 co-workers (in production plants, transport, logistic centres, stores, supporting services) have been doing everything they can. However, we realise that the social service sector's marathon, which is about human lives, may be much more difficult. Consequently, we want to support hospital personnel with a solution we develop especially for them. It is our way to take our social responsibility as retailer."

The logistic organisation is set up by Solucious, the group's food service business that supplies food products to professional customers. Solucious will make a website available with a selection of the Colruyt Group assortment. Hospital employees will be able to place an order on the website and mention the moment that suits them best.

The orders will be prepared per person and delivered to the hospital where this person works. The exact starting date, delivery location, delivery times and all other practical arrangements are being discussed with the hospitals' logistic departments. This will take some time of course: the hospitals in this project will handle this step by step. First, we will focus on the social service providers in the so-called front line and the hospitals will communicate this internally.

Marc Hofman concludes: "With this initiative, we want to make our contribution to dispel the concerns of hospital employees in these difficult times. Together, we are stronger to cope with these unbelievably challenging times."

We are also examining the possibility to expand this service to as many interested Belgian hospitals as possible. Other hospitals who want to use this service, can contact Solucious via info@Solucious.be. Meanwhile, Solucious also continues to provide food products to its usual customers (professional kitchens in hospitals, health care institutions, caterers).

19/03


UPDATE ABOUT OUR SPECIAL OFFERS

At the government's request, we stop all actions and Red Prices as of today, Thursday 19 March 2020. This means that all current actions no longer apply. In the coming weeks, you will not receive any Colruyt folders or other communications about special offers. Even in these exceptional times, you will find the lowest prices in your area at Colruyt. Our stores remain open and are taking extra precautions.

17/03


1. New measures in our food stores (Colruyt Lowest Prices, OKay, Bio-Planet, Spar Colruyt Group and Cru)

We comply with the recommendation of the authorities and virologist Marc Van Ranst and join the measures proposed by sector organisation Comeos.

These precautions take effect as soon as possible to slow down the spreading of coronavirus COVID‑19.

  • We ask our store employees to wear gloves. We are sending extra stocks to our stores. We also ask our store employees to keep washing their hands regularly, even when the store is very busy.
  • The shopping carts and checkout stations are regularly disinfected.
  • We ask our customers to keep a distance of at least 1 metre or the dimensions of a shopping cart from other customers and store employees.
  • To guarantee distance and safety, we limit the number of customers to 1 per 10 m². The store manager can decide not to allow new customers in depending on the number of customers already inside.
  • Our employees do not have to fill shopping bags for our customers; we ask our customers to take care of that. In this way, they can keep their distance.
  • We ask our customers to shop alone if they can. This allows us to restrict the number of people in the store.
  • We ask our customers to pay electronically as much as possible.
  • Specifically for Collect&Go: we stop picking orders in our Colruyt stores until further notice. The large number of customers in our stores these days has made order-picking for Collect&Go impossible. We can still pick orders in our 2 picking centres and thus supply about 90 Collect&Go pick-up points. Consequently, we will have to disappoint customers again, and we truly apologize for that. We are working as hard as we can.

We ask our customers to stay calm and to have respect for our store employees. We are doing everything we can to serve everyone.

We emphasize that stocking up is not necessary. We have stocks and the logistics chain is in top gear. Our store employees make every effort to fill the shelves as fast as possible. We thank our customers for their appreciation.

 2. Closing our non-food stores (Dreamland, Dreambaby and Fiets!)

 Colruyt Group decided to close all brick stores of Dreamland, Dreambaby and Fiets! as of Wednesday 18 March 2020 until further notice.

  • This measure also applies to the Newstory second-hand stores and the Garden & Patio pop-ups of Dreamland.
  • The online webshops of the three store formats and Collishop stay open. The Collishop pick-up points in Colruyt Group stores remain available.
  • We will contact all customers having a baby gifts list at Dreambaby to complete and deliver their list.

The group made this decision out of concern for the well-being of customers and employees. By reducing the number of physical stores, the group wants to contribute to the fight against the coronavirus.

3. New measures for our office employees

A. Teleworking is authorised

Our top priority is the health of all the people in society and in particular our employees; we want to be very clear about that. We have taken additional measures to help protect this health.

We have a social role to provide food and to make sure the food chain keeps going (production, transport, logistics, sales). We are doing our utmost to combine this social role with our other social commitment, contributing to the fight against the virus. This remains a balancing act forcing us to make decisions hour after hour and to adjust constantly.

 

To guarantee this operational continuity, we absolutely need sufficient employees in our stores, production plants, logistic centres and transport. We will need thousands of extra employees from other services to accomplish this.

Employees  from supporting services have the possibility to work from home if their work allows it. These employees  will receive the necessary tools (such as a VPN connection and a laptop).

We ask employees who have no role in the continuity of operationally critical business functions, to come and help in stores, production and logistics when necessary. Examples of critical business functions are stock management, IT systems, wage processing, internal and external communication.

Co-workers who no longer have work due to circumstances, have priority to help in stores or the logistic chain. The alternative is to check with their superior whether they can take leave (family, parental leave, overtime) or qualify for temporary unemployment.

Today, we are examining with our employees how we can organise to ensure that these new measures take effect as soon as possible.

 B. Maximum spacing in office buildings (for those who want or have to come)

 We have taken some measures for employees who must or want to come to the office, focusing on maximum spacing in our office buildings:

  • We ask our employees to spread out over different offices and to use meeting rooms and canteens as office space.
  • Because of the exceptional circumstances, the flexible timetable is expanded to the period between 6 am and 10 pm. We ask all teams to examine this and to be flexible so that the continuity of their service can be guaranteed and everyone can organise their private life.
  • The opening hours of the canteens for lunch are expanded. Employees can eat there between 11 am and 3 pm. We ask our employees to leave an empty chair between them or to eat elsewhere (meeting room or outside) and to pay electronically as much as possible.
  • Meetings (internal as well as external) are postponed as much as possible (we are now focusing on our operational continuity) or take place via skype.
  • Our regional and shared offices remain available to our employees. We ask them to use them as much as possible. Also for the purpose of maximum spacing. Furthermore, our Colruyt Group Academy opens its houses as additional regional offices. They will be open from 7 am to 9 pm for regional work, another 400 places. We thus avoid regional offices and shared offices to be overcrowded.
  • As from Wednesday 18 March 2020, the office bus will no longer run.

 

All measures above take effect now and until further notice.

We do not give audiovisual interviews until further notice. Please contact Comeos. We are now concentrating on supporting our store employees. Thank you for your understanding.

 

Colruyt Group press office

 

Press@colruytgroup.com of 0473 92 45 10 (NL) of 0473 82 27 15 (FR)