Revamped OKay Hemiksem reopens on 12 February as a sustainable neighbourhood supermarket
On Friday 12 February, OKay Hemiksem reopens after a thorough overhaul. The local supermarket closed a while in April 2020, but due to the corona crisis, the work scheduled could not take place. The store with a surface of 517 m² was renovated in the latest generation OKay style with refurbished freshmart, extra cooling cabinets, a new bread corner and more room to park bicycles. OKay Hemiksem also no longer uses fossil fuels. Store manager Samira Farhat and her team are happy to welcome their customers with respect for corona measures.
Delayed by the corona crisis
"The planned renovation should have taken place last year in April", says store manager Samira Farhat "but corona foiled those plans. The work could not be done." OKay decided to reopen the local supermarket at Hemiksem on the planned date anyway. All customers could come shopping safely in their familiar local supermarket again. The renovation was postponed to January 2021. "I am very happy the work could now be done. We are very proud of our renovated store", says Samira Farhat.
Focus on fresh products and daily fresh bread
Thanks to the modern lay-out, the supply of fresh products is striking. "In our revamped freshmart, our fruit and vegetables stand out completely", says store manager Samira Farhat. "Outside the freshmart, we added extra cooling cabinets so that tapas, cold cuts and pastries strike the eye even more. Moreover, we have a broad range of cooled drinks, handy for people on the way home, to school or to work."
Fresh bread is delivered at OKay Hemiksem every day. Behind the scenes, co-workers are baking quality rolls and buns. "Our new bread corner is very well-organised; you can immediately find what you need", says Samira Farhat.
More parking space for bicycles
OKay Hemiksem is situated at Abdijstraat 30. The car park has room for 62 cars. The bicycle park was expanded to 28 places. It also accommodates carrier cycles to make shopping by bike easier.
Top team from the region
"Through the years, we have gained loyal customers who value our broad range of products, our friendly co-workers and the lowest prices in the neighbourhood. My 15 co workers, all living in the area around Hemiksem, and I want to continue on this line in our renovated store”, Samira Farhat continues.
Minimum environmental impact
Like the other Colruyt Group Store formats, it is very important to OKay to build sustainably with a minimum ecological footprint. OKay Hemiksem does not use fossil fuels. The refrigeration system works on propane, a natural coolant that is much environment-friendlier than chemical coolants. This reduces CO2 emission by 90% compared to a classic cooling system. And we recover the heat released by this system. "We generate our own energy by means of solar panels and the led lighting uses 30 % less electricity", Samira Farhat adds.
The store's outside was painted with sustainable paint that converts hazardous substances such as nitrogen dioxides and ozone into nitrate and oxygen under the influence of sunlight. The rain dissolves and washes away the nitrates.
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 6 new stores every year. They intend to keep up this frequency in the years to come. Today, OKay has about 140 stores in Belgium. 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 2,500 co-workers.