Opening of OKay supermarket in Waimes marks the second supermarket in the East Cantons region
OKay opens its 131st store on Wednesday 23 January in Waimes. After Lontzen, this is OKay's second branch in the East Cantons. The practical convenience store has everything that customers need to do their daily shopping quickly, cheaply and easily. The store covers 500 m², employs 8 people and has been constructed using sustainable techniques and materials. Store manager Thierry Jeannot and his team are looking forward to welcoming local residents to the opening reception on Tuesday 22 January between 6pm and 8pm, when they can have a look around and enjoy a drink and a bite to eat.
New life for Intermarché site
The new OKay is located at Rue de Hottleux 31, just outside the centre of Waimes, the highest village in Belgium, boasting as one of its attractions the Signal de Botrange (694 meters). It was on this location that the shell of an Intermarché supermarket was built in 2008, but never put into use. OKay has now breathed new life into the site. “We chose to build a completely new building with a fresh, modern interior", says Eric Verstraete, who is responsible for expansion. “Renovation was not an option; the building was too far gone after ten years of being deserted. The support beams of the roof were rotting, plants were thriving inside and the rear facade had been destroyed by a truck.”
The new store will be officially opened on Tuesday 22 January 2019 during a reception between 6pm and 8pm, which all local residents and future customers are welcome to attend. “We hope to build up a loyal customer base who will value our wide range of products, our friendly staff and the lowest prices in the area”, says Thierry. The range of fresh products is one of OKay’s biggest draws: fresh fruit and vegetables every day, dairy products, meat, cooked meats, fish and ready meals. The bakery has fresh bread every day and store employees bake high-quality pastries and bread products in the oven. OKay offers a broad mix of household brands alongside own-brand products from its Boni Selection range and Everyday value range.
Minimising environmental impact
Energy-efficient construction that minimises environmental impact is very important to OKay, so the second-generation stores use sustainable techniques and materials wherever possible. The store is heated with the residual heat from the cooling system, instead of using a conventional boiler. In addition, the cooling system is powered by propane; a natural coolant that is much more environmentally friendly than chemical refrigerant gases and that reduces the CO² emissions from cooling by 90%. The LED lighting in the stores reduces energy consumption by 30% and rainwater is reused for the toilets. The building is also extremely well insulated, and the ventilation system recovers 75% of the warmth in the air.
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OKay is Colruyt Group’s local supermarket format. Customers can find everything they need there. OKay stores are set up near town or city centres and guarantee the lowest prices in the neighbourhood. OKay opened its very first store on 14 January 1998 in Ertvelde and has since then been opening an average of 7 new stores every year. They intend to keep up this frequency in the years to come. Today, OKay has about 130 stores in Belgium and intends to open a total of 180 stores. Since November 2015, the chain also has its own distribution centre at the industrial estate of Lot (Beersel) in Flemish Brabant. OKay currently employs more than 2,000 co-workers.