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Carrefour to open fully organic supermarket in Woluwe-Saint-Lambert
Supermarket chain Carrefour will open its first fully organic store in Brussels on Friday. The new outlet is located on Avenue Georges Henri in Woluwe-Saint-Lambert.
While Brussels counts many organic shops, this will be just the second opened by a big chain. The first is Colruyt’s Bio-Planet in Uccle. Carrefour plans to open two more outlets somewhere in Belgium by the end of the year, though it has not yet announced where.
“Carrefour has a wide assortment of organic products under our own brand,” a spokesperson told Bruzz. “These have always sold well in our normal supermarkets, so we are making them the focus of our new store.”
Carrefour isn’t keen to offer any conjecture about how it thinks it will compete with the organic shops that already dot Brussels neighbourhoods, including Origino, BioShop Den Teepot and Färm. But retail expert Gino Van Ossel of Vlerick Business School thinks the smaller outlets will be able to compete purely based on image.
“Speciality shops tend to emphasise the traditional aspects of farming,” he told Bruzz. “People who want to buy organic products will more quickly trust shops that put artisanal values first. That’s largely perception because ‘organic’ is, in any case, a certified label, governed by law.”
That means that the organic products in supermarkets are of equal quality to those in smaller shops. “Carrefour will undoubtedly offer cheaper alternatives to compensate for its industrial image,” said Van Ossel.
Until now, Colruyt has been the only traditional supermarket chain to open fully organic stores. Its first Bio-Planet outlet opened in 2001, and there are now 30 locations across the country, mostly in Flanders.
Photo courtesy Carrefour