Colruyt Group: Bio-Planet, DreamLand and Dreambaby open brand-new joint location in Mol

Colruyt Group: Bio-Planet, DreamLand and Dreambaby open brand-new joint location in Mol

Halle, Belgium, 2017-Oct-25 — /EPR Retail News/ — On Wednesday 25 October, Bio-Planet, DreamLand and Dreambaby open the doors of a brand-new joint location in Mol. The former Center Shop made way for a new construction big enough for the three Colruyt Group stores and good for about thirty jobs. On Tuesday 24 October, all neighbours are welcome for a drink, a snack and a guided tour at the opening reception between 6 and 8 pm.

Advantages of joint location
By putting up different store formats on the same location, Colruyt Group wants to work even more efficiently and cost-consciously. The group wants to stimulate synergy between the stores that have a lot in common despite their different product ranges. The retailer uses the so-called combi-sites to make the lives of its customers easier by meeting their different needs. The combination of Bio-Planet, DreamLand and Dreambaby opens on the same location for the first time. Colruyt Group already opened another combi-site earlier in Namur (2016 – Colruyt, DreamLand, Dreambaby and Colruyt Group Academy) and in Charleroi (August 2017 – Bio-Planet and Dreambaby).

Low-energy store for Bio-Planet
For Bio-Planet it is the 27th store in Belgium and the 2nd in the Kempen, after Turnhout. Bio-Planet offers a complete supermarket supply with a little extra. It guarantees a carefully selected organic, ecological and healthy range of products. On a store surface of 650 m², customers can find a unique supply of more than 6,000 products among which quite a lot of gluten- and lactose-free references and more than 500 flavours in the fresh products department. Every month, Bio-Planet introduces about sixty new products to inspire the customer to consume consciously.

Bio-Planet Mol was built with sustainable techniques and materials and offers a pleasant shopping experience with fifteen competent co-workers at the customer’s service. The store also has an environment-friendly cooling system on propane. Furthermore it has a rain water buffer, a ventilation system that recycles 15 % of the warmth in the air and led lighting.

Grand opening week at DreamLand
DreamLand Mol is the 46th store for the Colruyt Group’s toys expert. Inhabitants of Mol and surroundings can find a broad range of articles for young and old: (outside) toys, games and multimedia, school supplies, books, comic books, presents, etc. That DreamLand is all about having fun becomes clear in the use of nice playful elements in and around the store. The cash registers and packing tables are decorated, there is a life-size Matchbox and a birthday throne, a hopscotch and play street in the store, and so on.  During opening week on 25th and 28th October, a lot of amusing  activities are programmed. Markske from FC De Kampioenen, Chase and Marshall from Paw Patrol and the Minions will gladly make pictures with their fans. Bumba joins in for the youngest ones.  At Dreamland Mol, 8 people set to work.

Pleasant shopping at Dreambaby
For Dreambaby it is the 26th store in Belgium. The baby expert store has a warm design with special attention for atmosphere and perception. Thanks to low shelves, customers experience a pleasant feeling of space. They can find a broad range of baby articles and personal advice. 8 co-workers will work there. During opening week from Wednesday 25 to Saturday 28 October, Dreambaby Mol organises special actions and a workshop about baby slings. 

Contact
Silja Decock, Colruyt Group press officer
Gsm: +32 (0)473 92 45 10
E-mail: press@colruytgroup.com

SOURCE: Colruyt Group

Colruyt Group offers in-depth information on house brand food products with the launch of “Product Finder” website

Colruyt Group offers in-depth information on house brand food products with the launch of “Product Finder” website

 

Halle, Belgium, 2017-Sep-21 — /EPR Retail News/ — Today (September 20, 2017), Colruyt Group is launching their unique website “Product Finder”. This digital platform offers in-depth information about the group’s house brand food products, including Boni Selection and Everyday, which are available at Colruyt, OKay, Bio-Planet, Spar Colruyt Group, and Collect & Go stores.  Consumers can use filters to quickly find the house brand products that match their diets. This will not only make things easier for people who suffer from allergies or intolerances, but also for everyone looking for reliable information about ingredients and nutritional value, or information about sustainability. This is a new step towards the group’s goals to inform customers as openly as possible about the existing product range and to support them in making conscious food choices.

Based on the clients’ experience
In developing this digital platform (www.productzoeker.be), Colruyt Group drew inspiration from the diverse needs, expectations, and motivations that today’s consumers have. Frans Colruyt, COO at Colruyt Group: “We live in complex times: we are being bombarded with information, which can lead to uncertainty and confusion. At the same time, more and more people want or have to make more conscious choices when it comes to their food, either for their own well-being, or because they want to create a better world. That is why we want to provide consumers better access to transparent and reliable product information through this platform.”

Product Finder offers the most complete information about the house brand products available in Colruyt Group’s food stores: Everyday, Boni Selection, Graindor coffee, appetizers, and liquor. “We specifically chose the house brand products because their product information comes from our own, internal quality service and food specialists. We currently provide more information about our house brand products than is legally necessary”, says Frans Colruyt. By using search parameters such as ingredients, name, keywords, and bar code, consumers are able to quickly find those house brand products that meet they personal nutritional needs.

Guide for food allergies or intolerances

With Product Finder, Colruyt Group primarily focuses on nutritional profiles that need reliable information. The website specifically caters to people with food allergies or intolerances: they can search for the fourteen current legitimate allergens. The platform, which is always being updated, will at a later date cater to people whose diet is either vegetarian or vegan. Frans Colruyt: “This website is utterly unique. It allows people to search for specific products within our range – gluten free biscuits, for example, or ready meals that don’t contain egg. We’ve made it very easy to make choices that fit within people’s individual diet. This kind of extra service for the consumer is how we want to fulfil our societal role as a retailer.”

Transparent and in-depth product information

In addition to general information about health, allergens, and intolerances, Product Finder also provides news about the origins and sustainability of the group’s house brand products. Frans Colruyt: “This is our way of very openly providing more in-depth product information. It allows us to indicate for each product how, for instance, its nutritional composition has been changed – we have been decreasing the amounts of salt, sugar, and fat in our house brand products.”

Consumers can also register to take part in comparative product taste tests. This allows them to give feedback on the make-up of new products, or whether they enjoy how existing products have been altered.

“The website is a perfect addition to existing apps”

Product Finder is not Colruyt Group’s first time reaching out to help consumers in their food choices. In 2016, the app SmartWithFood was launched, where all products of the Colruyt Group food shops have been included. This nifty app allows customers to scan bar codes in the stores, and informs them about the product’s composition and possible alternatives.

They also have the MyColruyt app. This is an application that helps customers to make smart grocery lists, allowing them to input preferences, such as “gluten free”. Recipes and products that are gluten free are indicated with a “thumbs up” icon.

“While MyColruyt is more of a ‘shopping buddy’, SmartWithFood focuses on product information that is ‘on the spot’. Product Finder is an even larger, general database that customers can look at before they even do their shopping. This way, the three digital tools perfectly complement each other”, concludes Frans Colruyt.

Contact:
Hanne Poppe
press@colruytgroup.com
+32 (0)2 363 55 45
+32 (0)473 92 45 10

Source: Colruyt Group

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Colruyt Group: the eggs on our shelves are safe

Halle, Belgium, 2017-Aug-10 — /EPR Retail News/ — Our customers’ safety and health is our first and most important priority. Colruyt Group is closely monitoring the situation with regards to the current Fipronil contamination in the eggs. We continue asking our suppliers for supplementary analyses, as an extra control on top of the analyses that were done by the FASFC (Federal Agency for the Safety of the Food Chain). In this way, we want to ensure that the eggs that are currently on our shelves, are safe.

For the moment, none of the Colruyt Group stores have the impacted lot numbers that are mentioned on the FASFC website on their shelves. This has been a fact in the past. Even though we were very fast in removing the affected lots from our shelves following the demand of the supplier, there is a possibility that a certain amount of customers have bought eggs of those specific lots (it concerns eggs of the brand Boni and Everyday). These clients can return those eggs to their stores, where they will be helped by our staff.

No implicated eggs for sale

The lot numbers of the eggs with excessive concentrations of Fipronil are mentioned on the website of the FASFC. Colruyt Group has none of these lot numbers for sale anymore. Some lot numbers of our safe eggs sometimes only differ by one digit from the lot numbers of the eggs with too much fipronil. To be on the safe side, we now removed all lots of those eggs (Boni and Everyday) from our shelves as well, in order to avoid further confusion among our customers.

Extra checks of our eggs

The eggs on our shelves have not only been screened by the FASFC. Colruyt Group has taken it a step further and asked our suppliers to supply extra analyses of their samples, and we are carrying out extra checks. In this way we have built in an additional guarantee for the safety of our customers. We monitor the situation and will examine whether extra measures are required. Today, the eggs on the shelves of the Colruyt Group stores are safe.

Contact:
Hanne Poppe
press@colruytgroup.com
+32 (0)2 363 55 45
+32 (0)473 92 45 10

Source: Colruyt Group

Colruyt Group receives encouraging conclusions on its initial report on the use of antibiotics in pig farming

Halle, Belgium, 2017-Jul-04 — /EPR Retail News/ — Colruyt Group has received its first complete report from the AB Register, the platform developed by non-profit association Belpork to set up a policy for more sustainable use of antibiotics in pig farming. The conclusions are most encouraging, both for data reporting and quantitative and qualitative analysis of antibiotic use in herds participating in the Colruyt quality system. Use of significantly lower than average doses of active substances has been noticed in particular. In 2015, Colruyt Group decided to include the AMCRA* recommendations in its specifications, with the aim of reducing antibiotic consumption in pig farming by 2020. At the same time, the group joined the AB Register, in order to raise farmers’ awareness and have a continuous control and monitoring of their consumption. Due to this commitment, the group is working, together with its suppliers, towards a sensible use of antibiotics.

The AB register

Developed on the initiative of Belpork, the “AB Register” wants to identify the use of antibiotics in Belgian pig farms affiliated to recognised quality systems (Certus, CodiplanPlus, Colruyt) in order to achieve a sustainable policy on antibiotics. For the scientific analysis of the register’s data, Belpork called in AMCRA*, the knowledge centre for everything concerning antibiotics use and bacteria resistance in animals.  The recording and individual reporting on use of antibiotics is a measure aimed at raising the producers’ awareness. By joining this register, the latter benefit from follow-up and guidance in regard to their antibiotic consumption.

Encouraging results

Since Colruyt joined the AB Register in September 2015, the number of herds participating in the Colruyt quality system increased from 227 to 238 on 1st January 2017. 74% of these fulfilled the criteria enabling them to be taken into account in the assessment and analysis.

From a quantitative point of view, the report highlights the good behaviour of our suppliers’ farms, with an on average lower use of antibiotics than other farmers belonging to the register. There is a significant difference mainly in suckling piglets, as well as pigs for fattening.

From a qualitative point of view, it is also apparent that 3rd and 4th generation antibiotics, which are the most critical in combatting antibio-resistance in humans, have dropped considerably compared to 2015, currently reported as 0.9% treatment days, compared to 2% for herds which are not Colruyt affiliated. More generally, an overall decrease has been noted in the use of active substances belonging to “red” products in the AMCRA** classification.

Professor Jeroen Dewulf, chairman of AMCRA, calls the results encouraging. “It is good that companies like Colruyt Group take the lead and work together with their suppliers to reduce use of antibiotics and contribute to achieving AMCRA’s objectives.”

Evolving specifications

This is not the first time that Colruyt Group is taking action on the use of antibiotics in pig farming. In 1999, the group included, in its specification, banning the use of antibiotics as a preventive measure or to boost growth. A measure voted in by the European Union in 2006. Even today, the group has no reservations on going beyond legal requirements by extending the time between the end of a treatment and slaughtering the animal in order to ensure no significant quantities of residue remain in the animal’s flesh.

Stefan Goethaert, manager Colruyt Group Fine Food, the group’s production department: “We can be nothing but delighted with this report which shows that our supplier partners are right behind us in our sustainability goals. Combating over-use of antibiotics is a public health issue in which, through our specifications, we have a role to play. There is still work to be done and improvements to be made, in particular in data reporting. But we are on the right track. ”

* AMCRA: Antimicrobial Consumption and Resistance in Animals

** Antibiotic Classification
AMCRA has set up a colour code, according to the substances’ impact on human health. The yellow products are the least harmful in regard to public health; orange products can only be administered after a diagnosis, while red products may only be used after a laboratory test showing that the yellow and orange substances have no effect on the bacteria concerned.

Contact:

Silja Decock
Press Officer Colruyt Group
Tel.: +32 (0)473 92 45 10 or +32 (0)2 363 55 45
Email: silja.decock@colruytgroup.com

Source: Colruyt Group

Colruyt Group Sees Gradual Improvement in Working Conditions of Suppliers

Halle, Belgium, 2017-Jun-19 — /EPR Retail News/ — Colruyt Group notices that working conditions at its suppliers in high-risk countries are gradually improving. This became clear during audits carried out last year in 285 non-food factories, farming and food businesses, especially in China and South-East Asia. Most suppliers improved working conditions sufficiently to allow us to continue working with them. “Our investments in audits and training effectively led to improvement, but all parties need to keep making an effort”, says audit manager Daniel Bral.

Better than the year before

In 2016, Colruyt Group had independent offices carry out audits at 154 suppliers, an investment of more than 200,000 euros. The group also received audit reports from other retailers, which brought the total number of audited suppliers to 582. With about 95 % of them (or 10 % point more than in 2015) working conditions were considered average and small to large improvements were required. They received an improvement plan and are checked again after 3 to 24 months depending on the gravity of the problems. The group ended cooperation with 25 producers who refused to submit to the audit or scored poorly and were not prepared to take action.

Auditing works

As usual most flaws were found in domains such as working hours, pay, safety and health. Colruyt Group notices that sustained auditing does help to have working conditions improve. “When we check again after the first audit, we usually notice an improvement. And during the two-yearly re-audit all suppliers are submitted to, we see that working conditions usually stay at the better level. There are big differences between companies and between food and non-food. Non-food suppliers score quite well on average, also because we have been auditing them for 14 years now”, says Daniel Bral. We audit mainly Chinese manufacturers of toys, sports articles, garden articles, paper products and multimedia.

Cascade principle

In the food sector, conditions were less well on average. Daniel Bral: “Logical, it was only in 2013 that we started carrying out audits as one of the first companies to do so. We audited mainly manufacturers of canned, frozen or pasteurised food.” In 2017, our priority goes to suppliers of fresh fruit and vegetables, where the supply chains are often more complex. “To improve working conditions at the growers, we are now mapping out all chains in order to start auditing afterwards. We use the cascade principle as a basis: each link in the chain has the responsibility to supervise the conditions at its suppliers”, says Daniel Bral.

More international cooperation and training

To have greater impact, Colruyt Group is intensively working together with the international association (BSCI (Business Social Compliance Initiative) that has more than 1,900 members. Since early 2017 the group only has audits carried out according to the BSCI methodologies at manufacturers in China and South-East Asia, who are the best known. Daniel Bral: “As BSCI member we can also consult the audit reports of all other members. A supplier who scored acceptably, does not need to be audited by us a second time. This allows us to use time and means more efficiently. We also incite our suppliers to follow free training about safety, pay, working hours, production planning, etc. by means of the organisation. And it works, since a combination of social improvements and productivity increase is beneficial for both the manufacturer and the employee.”

Contact:
Hanne Poppe
press@colruytgroup.com
+32 (0)2 363 55 45
+32 (0)473 92 45 10

Source: Colruyt Group

Colruyt Group starts to convert 234 older stores into low-energy stores this year

Halle, Belgium, 2017-Jun-13 — /EPR Retail News/ — This year, Colruyt Group started to convert all of its older stores into low-energy stores this year. Over a 12-year period, 234 stores will be converted to energy-efficiency. The wave of conversions is a new step to create stores which do not use fossil fuel and to introduce innovative sustainable technologies. Thanks to this investment of around €75 million, Colruyt Group will reduce its CO2 emissions by at least 4% by 2029, creating a long-term leverage effect for the benefit of limiting climate change.

In 2007, Colruyt Group decided that all the new stores it built would only be low-energy stores. In order to reduce its impact on the environment, the group is now also busy converting the older stores it owns into low-energy stores. Over a 12-year period, 234 of the total 516 stores will be converted into low-energy stores. This mainly concerns Colruyt and Okay stores. By 2029, Colruyt Group hopes to own only low-energy stores. The goal is to convert an average of 20 stores per year. The first converted low-energy stores open this Wednesday in Knokke and Marcinelle.

“Low-energy conversion means that every store which is older than ten years that we own will be insulated and made more airtight, and we will revise the technologies where needed,” says Koen Baetens, director of Colruyt Group Technical Services. “Thanks to this investment, CO2 emissions from the whole group will drop by at least 4%. That corresponds to what 1,975 families emit each year for their heating.”

Green energy in place of fossil fuel

The large scale conversion wave is a necessary step to introduce innovative and sustainable technologies. By upgrading the stores, Colruyt Group will create an ideal platform for the future. Heat pumps will provide hot water for example, the refrigeration systems will operate on propene or propane gas, and the heating will run on heat recovery from refrigeration. These new technologies use 100% green electricity. This means that no fossil fuels such as fuel oil or natural gas are needed to run the stores. The first fossil fuel-free OKay stores will open in the autumn.

More pleasant working and shopping

In addition to a positive effect on the environment, the investment in low-energy stores also has an additional advantage. It allows us to avoid draughts, large temperature fluctuations and ensures a constant supply of fresh air in our stores. This increases comfort for our staff and customers, and will allow them to work and shop more comfortably.

Contact:
Hanne Poppe
press@colruytgroup.com
+32 (0)2 363 55 45
+32 (0)473 92 45 10

Source: Colruyt Group

Colruyt Group launches the Xtra loyalty card

Halle, Belgium, 2017-Mar-23 — /EPR Retail News/ — Today ( March 20, 2017), Colruyt Group launched the Xtra loyalty card. This is a single loyalty card which, from April 4th, can be used by a massive 3.7 million customers in over 600 shops and collection points comprising Colruyt, OKay, Bio-Planet, Spar Colruyt Group, Collect&Go, Dreamland, Dreambaby and ColliShop. From autumn 2017, DATS 24 will be added to the list. For customers who like to stay mobile, an Xtra app is available. All Colruyt Group’s shops and webshops have their own promotions and offers and, to make it even easier for customers, with Xtra they will automatically and immediately have access to each chain’s respective deals. With the launch of Xtra, Colruyt Group wants to get to know its customers better and to target information, offers and product ranges and services more accurately.

Convenience: automatic and immediate benefit
First and foremost, Xtra is a handy loyalty card for Colruyt Group’s 9 chains and webshops. “With this unique service, we want to make life easier for our customers and, above all, offer them simplicity in a society which is complex enough already,” says COO Frans Colruyt. “Anybody who shops with Xtra in Colruyt Group’s 9 participating chains and webshops immediately and automatically enjoys the offers running in that particular chain or webshop at that moment. All discounts are clearly indicated on the receipt. Simplicity and transparency are the winning hand.”

Xtra: 1 card, 1 app and 1 password
The new card will be sent out to 3,700,000 customers in Belgium and Luxembourg  from April 4th and replaces the current Colruyt, OKay, Bio-Planet and Dreambaby loyalty cards. Switching is simplicity itself, customers can use the card immediately they receive it.

For customers who prefer to stay mobile, there’s also the Xtra app. This gives customers in the shops the same benefits as the Xtra card. With the Xtra app, customers always have their loyalty card in their pockets. In addition, they can link different mobile payment apps (like Bancontact, KBC or SEQR) to the Xtra app so that they can pay with them.

Finally, Xtra online provides more simplification and convenience. With the Xtra login, customers will have access to all webshops from now on with a single user name and password.

Customised information and benefits
Over the years, Colruyt Group has evolved into a close-knit group. Frank Colruyt continues, “With our different chains, we want to be alert to our customers’ needs.” Customers do indeed have different needs and requirements at different times of their lives, and with its different chains, Colruyt Group can provide an appropriate response to each stage. “This group card makes it both very clear that we are a close-knit family of companies, and that we have shared values and aspirations,” explains Frans Colruyt.

Via Xtra, Colruyt Group can tune its information, offers and (shop) ranges even more closely to the interests and needs of its customers at every stage of their lives. On the one hand, customers can manage their own personal data and indicate which folders or newsletters they want to receive via their Xtra login. Later, it will be possible to show a preference for certain products, brands, dietary habits, etc. “What’s important here is that customers remain in charge of their own data, so they can alter or remove it at any time,” adds Frans Colruyt.

On the other hand, customers will be served more efficiently with offers, folders and communications that are relevant to them because, via Xtra, Colruyt Group will have more insight into their needs and purchasing behaviour in the different chains. “Relevance is a very important concept to us here. Based on new insights we can, for example, adjust the range in our stores to respond better to local preferences and so provide the customer with a more suitable offer. In short, Xtra offers a lot of potential to get to know our customers better. It is yet another stage in our ambition to deepen the relationship with our customers and enter into more dialogue with them,” says Frans Colruyt.

Privacy 100% guaranteed
Colruyt Group thinks that it is extremely important that customer privacy is guaranteed at all times. The retailer therefore stresses that data about purchasing behaviour is 100% secure at all times. Frans Colruyt explains, “We keep data so that we can serve our customers better, with total transparency. So any use must adhere to this.”

The future
Colruyt Group has invested a lot of time and resources in developing its group loyalty card, associated app and login. It was a major operation, from integrating IT systems and databases to distributing the card to 3.7 million customers, as well as creating all the communication about it.

“We are extremely proud of this new milestone in the history of Colruyt Group. Over the next few years, we want to create a positive follow-up. In autumn 2017, customers with Xtra will also enjoy offers at DATS 24. In the long term, we can also include our Cru and ZEB shops in the mix,” concludes Frans Colruyt.

Contact:
Hanne Poppe
press@colruytgroup.com
+32 (0)2 363 55 45
+32 (0)473 92 45 10

Source: Colruyt Group

Colruyt Group further expands its collaboration with Belgian Food banks

Halle, Belgium, 2017-Jan-07 — /EPR Retail News/ — Colruyt Group is further expanding its already successful collaboration with the Food banks. Until recently, local collection of unsold food took place in 14 Colruyt stores, this number will now be increased to as many as 37 stores. Colruyt Group considers it a duty to limit food loss to a minimum. With this expansion, a lot more can be donated than the 443 tonnes which were collected in 2016.

Since spring 2016, 14 Colruyt stores in Belgium have donated their unsold yet perfectly edible food directly to local organisations, under the management of the Food banks. This means about 2 to 3 tonnes of food per store per month. Now, the number of stores has more than doubled. Henceforth, local collection of unsold food will be organised in 37 stores. “With the holidays, extra attention was focused on looking after others and providing for the less fortunate. We want to commit to that for the whole year. By expanding our collaboration with the Food banks, we aim to focus even more on the reduction of food loss,” says Françoise Decoster of the environment service.

The collaboration with the Food banks is nothing new. Since 1997, Colruyt Group has donated unsold food, which can still legally be sold, to the Food banks. On one hand, donation takes place through the Dassenveld logistics centre in Halle. There, the Food banks collect unsold food from a number of stores every weekday, as well as food from the distribution centre itself. On the other hand, it happens locally, direct from the stores themselves. The collaboration between Colruyt Group and the Food banks runs exceptionally smoothly. Alfons De Vadder, Managing Director of the Belgian Foodbanks Federation says, “For us, the way in which we work with Colruyt Group is an example of the approach we want to take with our other partners. For example, the food is already neatly sorted and ready for our volunteers, so they can immediately load it without losing any time. Furthermore, Colruyt has already checked the quality, so we can be sure that we don’t have to throw anything more away.”

In 2015, a total of 490 tonnes was donated to the Food banks. In 2016, the 14 participating stores alone donated 443 tonnes of food. That went directly to the Food banks or to a member (regional) organisation. “Obviously, we’re now trying for an even greater volume thanks to more than doubling the number of collection points,” says Françoise Decoster.

Optimum use of high quality surplus food

To prevent food loss by our customers, fresh foods are removed from the shelves four days before their expiry date, and this applies to all stores. “So we get products with a comfortable shelf life which makes our work more pleasant,” says Alfons De Vadder of the Belgian Foodbanks Federation.

The system also makes it possible to expand donations to include fruit and vegetables which are still perfectly edible, but no longer appealing enough to be offered to customers, or whose packaging has been damaged.

Thanks in part to an efficient, automated supply system, with optimum stocks for each store and a range tailored to its needs, Colruyt Group sells a maximum quantity of goods efficiently. “For fresh food which isn’t sold, we come up with the most useful possible applications, always taking into account food safety and what is economically and practically feasible. The expansion of our collaboration with the Food banks is yet another large step in the right direction of diverting surplus food for human consumption,” concludes Françoise Decoster.

The Food banks (www.voedselbanken.be)

The Belgian Foodbanks Federation is an umbrella organisation. It represents a national network of 9 regional Food banks which distribute food amongst charities. The Food banks’ objective is to distribute food aid to the less fortunate. To this end, they receive large quantities of free food from the Fund for European Aid to the most Deprived (FEAD), but also from the food industry, large retailers and auctions, and they organise food collections from the general public. Everything collected is used to provide as many meals as possible to the less fortunate. Currently, around 13,000 tonnes of food is collected via around 629 local charitable organisations and distributed to over 138,000 beneficiaries.

Contact:

Hanne Poppe
press@colruytgroup.com
+32 (0)2 363 55 45
+32 (0)473 92 45 10

Source: Colruyt Group

Colruyt Group joins sustainable transport initiative by shipping citrus fruits from Spain via Cool Rail

Halle, Belgium, 2016-Nov-18 — /EPR Retail News/ — Colruyt Group will be shipping several containers of citrus fruit each week from Spain via Cool Rail, a new rail link for fresh produce between Valencia and the Port of Cologne. Trucks transport the containers to the distribution centre in Halle and return to Cologne with empty crates. The Cool Rail link is a sustainable alternative to road transport. Each container travels 83% fewer truck kilometres, which results in a 70% reduction in CO2. Colruyt Group sees this initiative as part of its broader pursuit of sustainable transport.

Full containers
Colruyt Group can optimise its return trips thanks to this new link. On the same site as the citrus fruit is unloaded, the containers are loaded with freshly washed EPS (Euro Pool System) folding crates for transport back to Cologne. “So the containers are always fully loaded for every journey,” says import project leader Wim Verghote. “In addition, the combined Valencia-Cologne-Halle journey only takes one more day than doing the entire journey by truck. So the freshness of the produce is guaranteed.”

Eventually, Cool Rail will also be able to transport fresh produce other than citrus fruit, such as broccoli and lettuce, from Valencia to Cologne for Colruyt Group. In November, two trains will run each week, with the aim of increasing this to five per week as more partners join the initiative.

More sustainable freight
For Colruyt Group, Cool Rail matches its pursuit of more sustainable international transport, including switching from road transport to rail and maritime transport. For goods imported from other European countries, more than half the journeys were carried out by train or boat. Last year, this has avoided 3,177,000 truck kilometres. “We are pleased that we can be part of this initiative,” continues Wim Verghote. “And we continue to look for new opportunities to reduce the impact of our freight transport further.”

Cross-border co-operation
Cool Rail is an international initiative with six partners from the retail, logistics and transport sectors in the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany. Wim Verghote explains, “It’s remarkable that so many partners could get together to work on more sustainable transport. Hopefully, this initiative will inspire others to take action.”

Cool Rail was launched by the Dutch fruit and vegetable wholesaler, Bakker Barendrecht and the Euro Pool System logistics company, and is supported by the Port of Rotterdam. They worked with the Mercator Novus consultancy to develop Cool Rail and get it up and running. In addition to Colruyt Group, retailers Albert Heijn and Edeka (Germany) are also involved.

Contact:
Patti Verdoodt
press@colruytgroup.com
Tel: +32 (0)2 363 55 45
Fax: +32 (0)473 92 45 10

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Colruyt Group joins sustainable transport initiative by shipping citrus fruits from Spain via Cool Rail
Colruyt Group joins sustainable transport initiative by shipping citrus fruits from Spain via Cool Rail

 

Source: Colruyt Group

Colruyt Group supports Belgian fruit growers with sale of Boni Selection pure juices

Halle, Belgium, 2016-Nov-08 — /EPR Retail News/ — For the third year in a row, Colruyt Group is taking the initiative to support Belgian apple and pear growers. Under the house brand Boni Selection, Colruyt and OKay are now offering 250,000 bottles of purely squeezed apple juice and an equal amount of bottled apple-pear juice. The juice is made from Jonagold apples and Conference pears from several long-term fruit suppliers. Colruyt Group wants to support them because the sector is dealing with overproduction and low prices, among other things due to the export ban to Russia. Thanks to this action, more fruit is put to good use. Plus, there is a high consumer demand for purely squeezed juices.

Less food waste

The pure juice is made from 457 tonnes of Jonagold apples and 94 tonnes of Conference pears from long-term fruit suppliers, including Danny Neven from Waremme and brothers Christophe and Pascal Bangels from Haspengouw. “We’ve been working with these fruit growers for a while, and we understand all too well how difficult having this excess fruit in the sector is for them, and the resultant low prices,” says Rony Neufkens, department head vegetable and fruit purchasing. “We want to use this action to give them a boost so that they aren’t stuck with high quantities of unsold fruit.”

100% purely squeezed juice

The fresh Boni Selection juices are extremely good quality juices. Only apples and pears from the most recent harvest are used; this fruit is grown with respect for the environment. It is 100% purely squeezed juice, without any added sugar or preservatives. The juice is bottled in nonreturnable, 75-cl glass bottles. After purchase, it can be kept in the refrigerator for approx. 35 days, but is only good for three days once opened.

The apple juice and apple-pear juice is available in the Colruyt and OKay fresh-food sections for €1.69 per bottle. Colruyt gives a 10% extra discount on purchases of 6 of the same/mixed bottles and a 15% discount on purchases of 12 bottles.

Contact:
Patti Verdoodt
press@colruytgroup.com
Tel: +32 (0)2 363 55 45
Fax: +32 (0)473 92 45 10

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Colruyt Group supports Belgian fruit growers with sale of Boni Selection pure juices
Colruyt Group supports Belgian fruit growers with sale of Boni Selection pure juices

 

Source: Colruyt Group

Colruyt Group CEO Jef Colruyt awarded the first Joule Prize for Renewable Energy by Organisation for Renewable Energy

Halle, Belgium, 2016-Oct-23 — /EPR Retail News/ — Colruyt Group CEO Jef Colruyt received the first Joule Prize for Renewable Energy from Flemish Energy Minister Bart Tommelein at the Flemish Parliament. The prize was presented by the Organisation for Renewable Energy (ODE), the sector federation for renewable energy in Flanders. The ODE awards the prize to reward an individual, organisation, authority or company for having made a difference with actual realisations in the field of renewable energy in Flanders between 2011 and 2016.

Pioneer
The ODE jury unanimously selected the winner from a list of strong candidates and calls Colruyt Group “a positive trendsetter who opens up new horizons for the whole business world in Flanders. What makes them special is and remains the intensive day-to-day care for energy.”

CEO Jef Colruyt accepts the prize as a recognition of the group’s many years’ pursuit of a more sustainable environment. “Caring for base materials and energy has always been in our genes. In 1999, it was a logical step to build a first wind turbine next to our distribution centre in Halle. Today we have the deep-rooted conviction that renewable energy is the future and we want to be a pioneer in the fight against global warming. We are determined to reduce our relative greenhouse gas emission by 20 % as compared with 2008, by 2020.”

Transition to a more sustainable energy supply
Over the past 5 years, Colruyt Group has considerably raised its investments in a more sustainable energy supply. At the end of 2016, the internal energy producer and supplier Eoly expanded its wind park to 11 turbines, producing 50,000 megawatt hours per year. This corresponds with the annual consumption of 18,000 households and a CO2 reduction of 14,500 tonnes. The energy expert recently obtained permits for 3 new wind turbines and keeps investing in renewable energy using the sun, cogeneration and biomass. Eoly’s green power production already covers a quarter of the group’s energy needs; in time this should become 100 %. At the beginning of this year, the Eoly Cooperation was founded, thus allowing private persons to invest in future onshore wind farms.

Ever since 2012, Colruyt Group has been pioneering with the production of green hydrogen, generated from wind and sun. This year the group doubled the capacity of its hydrogen station and started to use 200 new fuel cells for hydrogen-powered forklift trucks. The group is also testing hydrogen as a temporary storage buffer for superfluous green power, in an effort to gear supply and demand to each other.

Finally, through the Parkwind holding Colruyt Group participates in the operational offshore wind farms Belwind and Northwind and in the future Nobelwind.

With its investments in a more sustainable energy supply, Colruyt Group contributes to the realisation of the following Sustainable Development goals of the United Nations: (7) Affordable and clean energy, (13) Climate action.

More information: www.simplysustainable.com

Contact:

Patti Verdoodt
press@colruytgroup.com
+32 (0)2 363 55 45
+32 (0)473 92 45 10

Source: Colruyt Group

Colruyt Group installs rubbish bins, PMD and smokers’ poles in Halle as part of ‘Joining hands for less street litter’ campaign

Halle, Belgium, 2016-Sep-16 — /EPR Retail News/ — As part of the ‘Joining hands for less street litter’ campaign, Colruyt Group is starting a two-year test project to reduce litter in the vicinity of some of its headquarters buildings in Halle. Extra rubbish bins for general litter and PMD (plastics, metals, drinks’ containers) have been placed in four parking areas, plus several new smokers’ poles and bins for paper goods. The test is the second visible initiative in a wider campaign which runs until the end of 2020. This autumn, there will be a similar test in the parking areas of 11 Colruyt stores. Colruyt, Okay and Bio-Planet are also joining the Belgian Retail Clean-up Day in November.

In consultation with the town council
Colruyt Group will tackle the litter around the parking areas on Edingensesteenweg and Zinkstraat in Halle. This involves about a dozen ‘litter islands’ with at least two large bins for general litter and PMD. There will also be a number of smokers’ poles on Demesmaeckerstraat, as well as bins for paper goods. This initiative along the public thoroughfare was first discussed thoroughly with the town council.

The bins will be emptied every four weeks by the company EcoSmart, who will clear up any other litter at the same time and keep an accurate record of the quantity. “By doing so, we’ll have the correct data for evaluating the results and making any adjustments to the infrastructure before we roll the project out to other locations,” says project leader Goedele Daems.

Trying to change behaviour
Colruyt Group believes that it is possible to change behaviour through raising awareness and providing the appropriate infrastructure. That’s why, through the test projects, we will be looking at which types of rubbish bin work and which don’t, and where best to place them. We will also provide banners to make the locations highly visible and create internal communication to tell our staff about it and to raise their awareness.

“We’re beginning with our own company and leading by example, to inspire local residents and customers as well as our employees. A dynamic can develop through which, together, we can reduce litter and even actively clear it up. By doing so, we create a pleasant environment which remains clean and where people can dispose of their litter responsibly,” continues Goedele Daems.

A 5 year commitment
The test project will run for two years and is the second visible initiative in the ‘Joining hands against street litter’ campaign which Colruyt Group launched in 2015, and which runs until the end of 2020. The group is committed to tackling litter, together with employees, customers, hauliers, etc. In 2015, the retailer took action immediately with a clean-up involving some 200 employees who picked up almost 1.500 kg of litter in Halle.

The group was also the driving force behind the agreement between the business community and the Flemish government in early 2016. Amongst other things, the businesses committed themselves to giving additional support to the Flemish government’s litter policy with an investment of €9.6 million per year. In February 2016, a similar agreement was reached with the Walloon government, worth €3.9 million of extra investment. Through this, Colruyt Group is strengthening its social commitment and supporting the government in its fight against litter.

More information on simplysustainable.com.

Contact:
Patti Verdoodt
press@colruytgroup.com
+32 (0)2 363 55 45
+32 (0)473 92 45 10

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Colruyt Group installs rubbish bins, PMD and smokers’ poles in Halle as part of ‘Joining hands for less street litter’ campaign
Colruyt Group installs rubbish bins, PMD and smokers’ poles in Halle as part of ‘Joining hands for less street litter’ campaign

 

Source: Colruyt Group

Colruyt Group recalls Boni Selection Bio Quinoa (500 g) due to high a content of aflatoxin B1

Halle, Belgium, 2016-Aug-22 — /EPR Retail News/ — An internal verification revealed too high a content of aflatoxin B1 in de quinoa (500 g) of Boni Selection Bio.

Aflatoxins are mycotoxins that can be present in several products such as grain, coffee, rice, raisins and dried fruit. Aflatoxins can only cause health problems if used in large amounts for longer periods. People who have hepatitis are allergic to aflatoxins.

Did you buy this product? Return it to your Colruyt, OKay, Spar or Bio-Planet. The returned products will be completely reimbursed. Meanwhile all products have been removed from the shelves in all Colruyt Group stores.

Product description:

Boni Selection Bio Quinoa (500 g)
Sold at Colruyt, Colruyt Luxembourg, Collect&Go, OKay, Spar and Bio-Planet
– Best before: 18/10/2017
– Article number: 01779
– Batch number: 60418 M6

Frequently Asked Questions:

I bought this product. What do I do?
Do not use it. You can return it to your Colruyt, OKay, Spar or Bio-Planet. It will be completely reimbursed.

What if I have already eaten it?
There is no health risk at all. Aflatoxins can only cause health problems if used in large amounts for longer periods.

Are the products not checked before they are put on the shelves?
Indeed, Colruyt Group has a control programme to monitor the quality and food safety of all our private label products.

Where can I get more information?
You can call our customer service at 02 360 10 40.

For more information, customers can call 02 360 10 40.

Press officer
Patricia Verdoodt
Press officer Colruyt Group
Tel.: 0473 92 45 10

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Colruyt Group recalls Boni Selection Bio Quinoa (500 g) due to high a content of aflatoxin B1
Colruyt Group recalls Boni Selection Bio Quinoa (500 g) due to high a content of aflatoxin B1

 

Source: Colryt Group

Colruyt Group updates on its recycling initiatives

Halle, Belgium, 2016-Aug-13 — /EPR Retail News/ — Colruyt Group has managed to recycle an increasing share of its industrial waste, leaving less and less residual waste. In the first six months of 2016, the recycling rate has risen to a record 82.1%, which is an increase of more than two percent over six months ago. In reality, this means that for every thousand kilos of industrial waste, 821 kilos are recycled. With this, we have already surpassed the 80% recycling target that was our goal for 2017.

Sorting at the source
These improved recycling results are mainly due to the type of sorting at the source, i.e. by the store employees. For example, the Colruyt stores made a special effort in the spring to sort the fermentable waste and the bread waste even better, thereby sending back 700 tonnes less residual waste. “We had a very strong information campaign for this, and it’s amazing to see how well the store employees picked it up. Now all we have to do is keep it up, so we’re supplying even more nifty sorting tips”, says Francoise Decoster at the environmental department.

Food Banks
Another positive point is that food waste has decreased considerably. Since the spring of this year, fourteen stores in Belgium have been donating their unsellable yet still perfectly edible foods directly to local organisations, overseen by the Food Banks. This way, between 2 and 3 tonnes of food per store per month were donated.

Francoise Decoster: “That means that less food surplus is returned to our distribution centres to be fermented. In and of itself, fermentation has its use, because it generates green energy. But using the food surplus for human consumption is even better.”

Second sorting
Finally, the percentage of residual waste will continue to decrease thanks to new sorting installations in Colruyt Group’s return centres, where the residual waste of all the stores, manufacturing and distribution centres, and office buildings is collected. There, this residual waste is once again thoroughly sorted in order to extract recyclables such as plastic, hard plastic, cardboard, wood, metal, and glass.

For more information, please visit simplysustain

Contact:
Patti Verdoodt
press@colruytgroup.com
+32 (0)2 363 55 45
+32 (0)473 92 45 10

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Colruyt Group updates on its recycling initiatives
Colruyt Group updates on its recycling initiatives

 

Source: Colruyt Group

METRO GROUP acquires French food service distribution company Pro à Pro from Colruyt Group

Düsseldorf, Germany, 2016-Jul-09 — /EPR Retail News/ — METRO GROUP has acquired the French food service distribution company for professional customers Pro à Pro from the Belgian retail group Colruyt Group. Pro à Pro is one of the most important food service distribution (FSD) providers in France offering direct food delivery services to different customer groups including the hotel, restaurant and catering (HoReCa) sector.

The company has around 42,000 customers in France and focuses on major contract caterers as well as canteens in the public and private sector, chained restaurants and independent restaurants. With this acquisition, METRO GROUP strengthens its French wholesale business in the growth segment FSD and creates an additional offering for the customers of METRO Cash & Carry France. The transaction comprises the operational business as well as the warehouse locations, logistics platforms and the truck fleet of Pro à Pro. It was agreed not to disclose the financial details of the transaction. The acquisition is pending approval by the relevant regulatory authorities.

“Food Service Distribution is a strategic growth driver for the wholesale business of METRO Cash & Carry”, says Olaf Koch, Chairman of the Management Board of METRO AG. “Following the acquisitions of Classic Fine Foods and Rungis Express we are now also further extending the service offering for our customers in the important French market with the takeover of Pro à Pro. With this move, we not only expand our market presence but, most of all, we also enhance our customer relevance. In total, we have gained a FSD sales volume of more than €1 billion within the past twelve months with these three acquisitions.” FSD carries a considerable potential in the HoReCa segment: a growing number of HoReCa customers in France and in several other markets meanwhile prefer to have the option to choose the delivery service. “The French FSD business offers an enormous growth potential”, says Philippe Palazzi, Member of the Operating Board of METRO Cash & Carry and Operating Partner France, Spain and Portugal. “With the nationwide presence and strong position of Pro à Pro we will be excellently positioned for further growth in this field and can offer our French professional customers a true value added.”

The future growth of Pro à Pro continues to be our primary focus. We deem that Pro à Pro’s growth ambitions can best be realised by combining it with a strong complementary market player like METRO GROUP”, says Dries Colpaert, General Manager of Colruyt France and Foodservice.

Since its founding in the year 2001, Pro à Pro has grown from a local delivery operator to a national player with nationwide coverage in the fragmented French FSD business – also thanks to the integration of competitors. The company serves around 42,000 customers and focuses on major contract caterers as well as canteens in schools, hospitals, companies, defence and the leisure sector as well as chained restaurants. Pro à Pro currently reports strong growth in the field of independent restaurants and caterers. Overall, Pro à Pro has a headcount of over 1,700 full time employees, among them 170 field service employees with direct contacts to the local customers. In 2015, the company generated sales of around €670 million. Pro à Pro’s assortment covers approximately 12,500 articles including more than 5,000 chilled and close to 5,000 ambient food articles as well as a small range of frozen and non-food products. Thanks to its integrated logistics with 18 warehouses, 19 logistics platforms and a truck fleet of some 400 vehicles, Pro à Pro can offer extremely flexible delivery services throughout the country. The company in addition also operates in the French overseas departments Martinique, Guadeloupe, French Guiana and La Réunion.

METRO GROUP is one of the most important international retailing companies. It generated sales of some €59 billion in financial year 2014/15. The company operates over 2,000 locations in 29 countries and employs more than 220,000 people. The performance of METRO GROUP is based on the strength of its sales brands, which act independently on the market: METRO/MAKRO Cash & Carry, the international leader in the self-service wholesale trade; Media Markt and Saturn, the European market leader in consumer electronics retailing; and Real hypermarkets.

Colruyt Group operates in the food and non-food distribution sector in Belgium, France and Luxembourg with approximately 500 own stores and over 500 affiliated stores. In Belgium this includes Colruyt, OKay, Bio-Planet, Cru, Dreamland, Dreambaby and the affiliated stores Spar and Spar Compact. In France, in addition to approximately 70 Colruyt stores, there are also affiliated Coccinelle, CocciMarket and Panier Sympa stores. The group is also actively involved in the food service business (supply of food products to hospitals, company canteens and catering businesses) in France (Pro à Pro) and in Belgium (Solucious). The other activities comprise the sale of fuel in Belgium (DATS 24), printing and document management solutions (Symeta) and the production of green energy. The group employs over 29.000 employees and recorded a EUR 9.1 billion revenue in 2015/16. Colruyt is listed on NYSE Euronext Brussels (COLR) under ISIN code BE0974256852.

Contact:
Media Department

Telephone: +49 211 6886-4252
Telefax: +49 211 6886-2001
E-Mail: METRO GROUP: presse@metro.de

Source: Metro Group

Colruyt Group continues on improving the working conditions at their suppliers in risk countries

Halle, Belgium, 2016-Jun-10 — /EPR Retail News/ — Colruyt Group continues working on improving the working conditions at their suppliers in risk countries. In 2015, a total of 555 audits were performed at non-European non-food plants and agricultural and food companies that supply to the group. 86 percent of the suppliers had acceptable working conditions. In order to increase its impact, the group also contributed to an international bundling of forces of retailers, importers and major brands that work on creating more sustainable supply chains.

555 suppliers mapped out

In 2015, Colruyt Group audited 166 producers in risk countries. Independent audit services visited companies from whom the group directly imports products or who make products for the group’s house brands. The group also received audit reports of other retailers, which makes for a total of 555 audited suppliers. For about 86 percent of the suppliers, the working conditions were assessed as average and some minor or major improvements were required. They were provided with a plan for improvement and will be audited again after three months to two years depending on the severity of the faults. Cooperation was ceased with nine suppliers with very low scores.

Similar to past years, most breaches of working conditions were found in such fields as working hours, pay, health, and safety. Colruyt Group does see that consistent auditing is an effective way of improving the working conditions, even though there are major differences between industries and companies. In the non-food industry, it mainly concerns toy manufacturers in China. ‘On average, they have fairly good scores, mainly because we have been auditing them for 13 years,’ says Daniel Bral, in charge of social auditing at Colruyt Group. At the food companies, conditions are usually less good. ‘This makes sense, because we were one of the first to start auditing and only started in 2013. Some producers never even heard of social auditing and still have a long way to go.’

Focus on food producers

Thus, Colruyt Group wants speed up auditing in the food industry and wants to have audited all food processing companies at least once by the end of 2016. Two-thirds of the companies must also have an acceptable score by that time. The situation is more complex for primary producers of fruit and vegetables, because it usually concerns cooperative organisations of numerous family-owned growers. ‘Nevertheless, we also want to have audited all primary producers at least once by the end of 2018.’

The retailer keeps investing in audits, but does realise that the audits alone are not enough to solve structural problems. ‘All parties involved have to take responsibility. For instance, local authorities can enforce their legislation more strictly.’

International bundling of forces

The battle for better working conditions is more efficient the more international cooperation there is within associations that draw up audit methods and standards and that ensure the exchange of information among their members. That is why Colruyt Group has spent the past year working on expanding the BSCI (Business Social Compliance Initiative) partnership. This partnership contains 1,700 members including European retailers, importers and multinational brands; at the start of 2017, it will be reinforced by members of the French ICS association that includes heavyweights, such as Carrefour.

‘This will increase our impact. After all: the more members there are, the more audits there will be and the more the results will be shared. The customers’ increased interest in sustainability will certainly stimulate the producers to implement improvements faster,’ Bral states. From 2017 onwards, Colruyt Group will perform all its audits on the basis of the BSCI method. According to Bral: ‘This requires a lot less administration and makes it easier to compare results.’ The producers will also have more clarity, because having different audit systems and certifications makes it hard to meet the wide range of standards.

Contact
Hanne Poppe
press@colruytgroup.com
+32 (0)2 363 55 45
+32 (0)473 92 45 10

Colruyt Group expands collaboration with the Food Banks

Halle, Belgium, 2016-Jun-10 — /EPR Retail News/ — Due to positive results from a first test in four Walloon branches, Colruyt Group is expanding their collaboration with the Food Banks. Both parties have a unique system set up in Belgium: fifteen Colruyt stores in Belgium, spread out in accordance to need, will make their unsold foodstuffs available to local organisations associated with the Food Banks. This will add up to approximately 450 tonnes of food to be distributed. Within the year, both parties will evaluate to see if the supply matches the demand, and make adjustments where necessary. Colruyt Group has been collaborating with the Food Banks since 1997; they donate unsold foodstuffs from the distribution centre Dassenveld (Halle) and organise a yearly food drive among their customers. The three collection systems will continue to exist simultaneously.

Matching supply to demand

Specifically, Colruyt Group and the Food Banks have identified 15 Belgian stores that are best suited to meet the demands, based on their geographical location and the needs of the local organisations. The Food Banks will serve as intermediary between the stores and these organisations, and they will organise the collection process. They will also oversee the different organisations and keep an eye on proper observance of the cold chain, compliance with the rules as set by the FASFC, and the actual distribution of the foodstuffs to the less fortunate. The stores involved will sort and collect these products early in the morning. The packages will be prepared and stored in a refrigerator and will be normally be picked up by the organisation at the time of the store opening, every weekday, including Saturday. Last year, Colruyt Group and the Food Banks performed a first test in four stores in Walloon. Between 2 and 3 tonnes of food per store per month were donated to the food banks because of this.

In addition, Colruyt Group will devote special attention to the local organisations’ waste management in order to prevent downstream food waste.

Four days

Colruyt Group will also ensure the quality of the foodstuffs. The company has great expertise in the area of inventory management, thanks to an automated supply system that enables us to sell 97.45% of the fresh and frozen products that have been shipped to stores. With a view to decreasing customers’ food waste, fresh products are removed from the shelves four days before their expiry date, in all stores. This means the organisations will get products that are well before their expiry date. This system will also enable us to expand our donations to fruit and vegetables that are still edible, but not aesthetically pleasing enough to offer to customers, or that have damaged packaging. Alfons De Vadder, delegate director for the Federation of Food Banks: “Our continuing concern is not just to collect enough food to meet the ever-increasing demand, but also to ensure a product supply that is as varied as possible. This means we’re looking forward to collaborating with Colruyt Group for several reasons.”

Social involvement

The collaboration with the Food Banks is nothing new. Colruyt Group has been donating unsold foodstuffs that were still legally sellable to the Food Banks since 1997. These foodstuffs are brought to the Dassenveld Distribution Centre in Halle. After quality control, they are picked up by the Food Banks and distributed to social restaurants, shelters, and other social initiatives. The Food Banks received an estimated 405 tonnes of food this way in 2015.

Colruyt Group is also eager to involve their customers in the movement. Each year, Colruyt gives them the opportunity to contribute to the Food Banks with a food drive. This year, the campaign collected 229 tonnes of food for the Food Banks.

It is important to note that the three collection systems will continue simultaneously. The distribution directly from the 15 stores to local associations should guarantee them 450 tonnes of food products.

“We at Colruyt Group feel it is our duty to combat food waste, which causes so much unnecessary loss both financially and environmentally, as much as possible,” says Tony De Bock, director of Know-how – Products – Retail at Colruyt Group. “For that, we need effective logistics and inventory management, proper redistribution of the unsold foodstuffs, as well as social commitment. This allows us to prove that our economic ambitions positively impact society and the environment. That is our vision for sustainable entrepreneurship.”

Contact
Hanne Poppe
press@colruytgroup.com
+32 (0)2 363 55 45
+32 (0)473 92 45 10

Jean‑Pierre Roelands will leave Colruyt Group at the end of June

Halle, Belgium, 2016-May-16 — /EPR Retail News/ — On 30 June 2016, Jean-Pierre Roelands will end his active career at Colruyt Group. In his position of commercial director he helped shape the “Lowest Prices” concept which has become Colruyt’s signature since. In the past years Jean-Pierre was the Store Concepts Director and one of the moving spirits behind Colruyt Group’s newest store format, CRU.

Jean‑Pierre Roelands will leave the company where he worked for more than 40 years at the end of June. “Part of me will always remain connected with Colruyt Group and vice versa. I have had great times here, I met very capable people and gained unforgettable experiences. I feel that I have done what I had to do and that the next generation has to take the reins. I am completely ready for the next phase in my life”, Jean-Pierre Roelands says.

Colruyt Group COO Frans Colruyt adds: “Jean-Pierre has been our commercial director for more than 20 years and one of the company’s famous faces and contacts: in the company and outside. He was a key figure in the ‘Lowest Prices’ concept, and helped make Colruyt become what it is today. And for that, we are very grateful to him of course.”

Coach at CRU

In the past years, Jean-Pierre was Colruyt Group’s Store Concept Director. In this role he helped develop and launch the new concept of CRU that will shortly open a second establishment in Wijnegem. “I had the opportunity to step into the fine part of coach and to use my many years’ experience to help people elaborate innovative concepts for the group. A very rewarding job”,  Roelands concludes.

In the next few weeks, Jean-Pierre will hand over his position to Jo Spiegeleer, CRU’s new division manager. Frans Colruyt: “Jo’s broad executive experience at Colruyt and OKay since 1995, his passion for simplicity and food, and his talents to think like the customer and to inspire teams make him the ideal man to succeed Jean-Pierre.”

Biography
Jean-Pierre Roelands (°1955) started to work in 1973 as a salesman in a Colruyt store. Earlier, as a student, he already had  regular holiday jobs at Colruyt. After his military service, he became the manager of a store in Brussels, where he could fully display his commercial feeling. He soon became a regional manager in Flanders to rise to the position of sales director for Wallonia in 1987, at the age of 32. Three years later, in 1990, Jean-Pierre Roelands became the commercial director for Colruyt in Belgium.

Jo Spiegeleer started to work at Colruyt in 1995 as a sales employee. Later on, he became store manager and non-food promoter. In 2007, he made the switch to OKay as a regional manager. In 2011 and 2012, Jo was temporarily made free to develop the OKay Compact concept in Elsene, and afterwards he became OKay’s division manager.

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Jean‑Pierre Roelands will leave Colruyt Group at the end of June

Jean‑Pierre Roelands will leave Colruyt Group at the end of June

Colruyt Group contributes to public health by improving the nutritional value of its house brands

Halle, Belgium, 2016-Apr-11 — /EPR Retail News/ — For years, Colruyt Group has been improving the nutritional value of its house brands. Our in-house nutritionists check the nutritional value of each product and improve it wherever possible. In this, they focus on decreasing the amount of salt, added sugar, and saturated fats. Colruyt Group has raised its game in 2014, and 23 product categories have currently been checked. By striving for more balanced food, the group wants positively contribute to public health. The group therefore trusts that the initiative will be recognised by the federal government’s National Food and Health plan.

Health and well-being
The connection between our food and our health has been amply proven. Colruyt Group places a lot of importance on sustainability and is therefore working towards more balanced food in the interest of public health and the well-being of its customers. As the first Belgian retailer to structurally take on this responsibility, the group launched a programme in 2014 to improve the nutritional value of its house brands Everyday, Boni Selection, and Boni Bio, all while maintaining the same flavour. Director Stefan Goethaert, responsible for product sustainability at Colruyt Group, adds: “We’ve always been attentive to the quality and composition of our own brands, and this project was accelerated in 2014. Today, on World Health Day, we’d like to give an update on this.”

Less salt and sugar and fewer saturated fats
“Our nutritionists will screen all our food products”, Stefan Goethaert explains. “Wherever necessary and possible, we will systematically improve the nutritional values, for instance by decreasing the amount of sugar and salt or by adding fibres.  We also decrease fat content or replace the saturated fats with better types of fat that are rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids. And we will increase the amount of vegetables in our ready-made meals.”

Twenty-three categories in two years
Colruyt Group has access to an in-house crew of nutritionists who support the people responsible for quality. Since the programme started, they have screened 23 product categories. Approximately 250 products went through an improvement track, in close collaboration with the manufacturers. Right now, there are approximately one hundred improved products available in stores, including great results such as Boni Selection’s Provençal sauce which contains 94% less fat, EveryDay strawberry drink yoghurt (6.5% less sugar) and Boni Selection Rolled Fillet with Onion sauce (47% less salt).  The operation will be continued with the rest of the product range and the nutritional value of all future products will of course be thoroughly reviewed.

And then there is the taste
However, the improvements have their boundaries, as salt, sugar, and fat are often not just additives but structural ingredients. In pastry, for example, you cannot decrease the amount of sugar below a certain level without endangering the product’s consistency. Salt, sugar, and fat also serve as preservatives, in for example cold meats and jams. And the fewer preservatives, the shorter the shelf life a product has. Then there are the legal duties, for instance for mayonnaise, the composition of which has been determined by law. And, regardless of these limitations, the customer also has to be able to enjoy the products whose recipe has been changed. That is why the new recipes are systematically subjected to blind taste and satisfaction tests.

Health tax as a stimulant to food improvement
In the context of the National Food and Health Plan, the government is setting up several measures to decrease the amounts of sugar and fats in our food. This mainly concerns fiscal intervention, such as the sugar tax on soft drinks, implemented in 2015. “We suggest that the government uses the health tax to stimulate the food manufacturers to improve the nutritional value of their products”, says Frans Colruyt, chief operating officer at Colruyt Group. “The manufacturers could commit to an improvement plan in agreement with the government. If they meet their predetermined targets, they could potentially enjoy a tax reduction. That way, the health tax would truly contribute to the improvement of our food.”

More information at: www.simplysustainable.com

Contact
Hanne Poppe
press@colruytgroup.com
+32 (0)2 363 55 45
+32 (0)473 92 45 10

Colruyt Group opens new hydrogen plant

Halle, Belgium, 2016-Mar-10 — /EPR Retail News/ — Colruyt Group officially opens the new hydrogen plant within the framework of the “Don Quichote*” project. Located on the Dassenveld site in Hal, where the group has a distribution centre, this plant has the aim of demonstrating the technical and economic feasibility of a hydrogen storage and transport system for green electricity, produced from wind farms and solar panels. The system is tested on tangible applications specific to logistics but also relating to mobility and global management of energy resources. “Through this initiative, the group is seeking to participate in the development of a hydrogen market. With our partners, we believe in the establishment of a clean system drawing on renewable energy sources”, explains Jef Colruyt, CEO of Colruyt Group. “With this project, it’s a matter of convincing all the stakeholders of the opportunities offered by hydrogen as an energy vector. Because only a generalised choice will overcome the final barriers that still need to be conquered.” The project is supported by the Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking (FCH JU), which is a public/private partnership established by the European Commission, industries specialising in hydrogen and the world of research.


A 100% clean energy vector

Hydrogen, as an energy vector, seems to be the most suitable alternative to fossil fuels. Upstream, thanks to the electrolysis process – voltage diffusion either in water or air – it is possible to generate “green” hydrogen from a renewable energy source, such as wind or solar. Downstream, its combustion releases only water vapour and does not cause any greenhouse gas emissions.

Storing renewable energies
In 2012, during the first hydrogen test within the context of the European Interreg IV project, Colruyt Group hosted the first hydrogen plant, in collaboration with WaterstofNet and Hydrogenics. Supplied by a wind turbine and solar panels, the intention was to test certain logistical applications equipped with a fuel cell.

The plant linked to the “Don Quichote” project has been joined to the existing installation. It will allow for the testing of the PEM electrolyser compared to the initial alkaline electrolyser, as well as doubling its production capacity. The station is also equipped with a 120 kW fuel cell, capable of reconverting hydrogen into electricity.

Concrete applications
In terms of logistics, the plant can supply automotive equipment equipped with a fuel cell. To date, Colruyt Group has 11 pallet trucks equipped with such technology. The group will expand the fleet with 200 additional fuel cells in 2016.

In terms of mobility, the station supplies the Hyundai i35, tested for the last year by staff within the group. Additionally, DATS 24, the fuel supplier for the group and CNG pioneer in Belgium, is keeping a close eye on developments, so that it can be ready for the presumed future transition from CNG to hydrogen.

“Our experiences with the hydrogen vehicle, in combination with  DATS 24’s experience gained from the expansion of the CNG network, confirm our ambition to further invest in this technology and the required infrastructure”, adds Jef Colruyt.

Finally, in terms of energy, hydrogen seems to be a reliable method for managing the electricity requirements of the site. The surplus produced by the wind turbines or solar panels is stored as hydrogen rather than fed into the network. This hydrogen can then be reconverted into electricity on days with low energy production rates. This is what is known as an “energy buffer” method.

Sustainability is in the Group’s genes
Sustainable entrepreneurship is in the genes of the Colruyt Group. It represents an integral part of the group’s culture, which can be seen in the goal of creating sustainable added value on the basis of its values and expertise in distribution. “It initially represents an economic boost, it’s about creating positive dynamics for the company and the environment”, explains Jef Colruyt. “It is for this reason that the group is investing further and will continue to do so in renewable energies, which will eventually make it possible to achieve a greater independence from fossil fuels and offer a solution to the resulting climatic and geopolitical problems. ” This is also the goal of Eoly, the producer and supplier of green energy within the group.

Contact
Hanne Poppe
press@colruytgroup.com
+32 (0)2 363 55 45
+32 (0)473 92 45 10

 

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Colruyt Group opens new hydrogen plant

Colruyt Group opens new hydrogen plant

Colruyt Group lowers impact on climate change with liquid ice containers to transport fresh products to the stores

Liquid ice cooling has a 58% lower impact on climate change

Halle, Belgium, 2016-Jan-21 — /EPR Retail News/ — Colruyt Group has recently started using a new type of refrigerated container to transport fresh products to the stores. This ‘liquid ice container’ was developed by in-house engineers and uses liquid ice, a first in the sector. The container has an impact on climate change that is 58 % lower than a classic refrigerated container. This is because the liquid ice is made using locally generated green power and is constantly being recycled. Moreover, the refrigerated containers can stay at the same temperature for 48 hours, which makes the logistics more flexible and efficient. Currently, there are more than 600 containers in use, and within approximately three years, all the old refrigerated containers will have been replaced.

Fewer greenhouse emissions

The use of liquid ice containers generates less than half the climate change* impact of regular refrigerated containers. Liquid ice is a frozen but liquid mix of water and ethanol. The coolant is produced at the distribution centre in Halle, using locally generated green wind and solar energy. The mix is pumped into specially designed refrigerated containers, which then reach the desired temperature within half an hour. They can then be stocked with fresh products and leave for the stores in normal lorries. Upon their return, the mix is pumped from the container, cooled again, and reused.

“Moreover, when necessary we can inject a maximum amount of liquid ice into the containers to keep them at temperature for up to 48 hours”, says engineer Benjamin De Cooman. “This greater autonomy affords us more leeway in the logistics chain. The new container also has a larger volume, which means we need fewer containers and can transport more goods during fewer trips. In short, we can have a more flexible and efficient transportation planning, which saves transportation kilometres and greenhouse gas emissions.”

The choice for liquid ice is the next step in Colruyt Group’s realisation of its CO2 reduction plan. By 2020, the group wants to reduce the relative greenhouse gas emissions by 20% as compared to 2008.

In-house research and development

Colruyt Group is the first retailer in the world to use liquid ice for the transportation of refrigerated products. The new containers were developed by engineers in the Energy, Environment, and Special techniques department. “We research new techniques that are more efficient and cost-reducing, and that simultaneously reduce our impact on the environment”, says Benjamin De Cooman. “For instance, we’re also researching the application of liquid ice in our freezer transportation.” Colruyt Group has been using cooling containers for the transportation of fresh and frozen products rather than regular refrigerated lorries for decades. This means that different types of products can be combined in one load, which once again saves a lot of transportation kilometres.

*Impact on climate change (greenhouse gas emission) calculated according to the Product Environmental Footprint methodology of the European Commission.

Contact
Jan Derom
press@colruytgroup.com
+32 (0)2 363 55 45
+32 (0)473 92 45 10

SOURCE: Colruyt Group

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Colruyt Group lowers impact on climate change with liquid ice containers to transport fresh products to the stores

Colruyt Group lowers impact on climate change with liquid ice containers to transport fresh products to the stores

Colruyt Group grants its pig farmers with support bonus of 10 cents per kilo

Halle, Belgium, 2015-12-18 — /EPR Retail News/ — Colruyt Group has decided to support the pork industry by granting its pig farmers with a support bonus of 10 cents per kilo. The group is looking to use this action to help its long-term partners scrape a living. This is also a way of contributing to the prosperity of local producers and of continuing to provide its customers with high-quality Belgian pork. In parallel, Colruyt Group is continuing to be actively involved in discussions with the different stakeholders in the chain as part of the Chain Consultation, but reaching an agreement in this consultation remains difficult. We hope the dialogue is pursued and Colruyt wants to continue to participate actively.

10 cents per kilo

Colruyt Group is aware of the difficulties that farmers have now been facing for several months. In concrete terms, the group will pay a support bonus of 10 cents for each kilo of pork, which will be retroceded to the farmers. This initiative concerns all pork received by the group, regardless of the form in which it is subsequently distributed (fresh meat, cured meat, by-products). This measure will be applied for a period of 8 weeks.

Stefan Goethaert, Colruyt Group Fine Food Director: “We understand the difficult situation that Belgian pork farmers have been facing over the last few months. Moreover, we attach a lot of importance to seeing Belgian producers continue to provide us with pork. This measure will directly benefit pig farmers that supply us with pork in line with our specifications. We hope our support can breathe new life in the dialogue within the chain consultation so that the search for structural solutions can be pursued. After these 2 months, we will reassess the situation.”

Reminder: last year, Colruyt Group also assisted farmers by freezing the price of pork for 6 weeks, at a time when market prices were crashing.

Colruyt Group however remains convinced that the solutions required by our Belgian producers can only emerge from the consultation with all stakeholders in the industry and with the Belgian and European bodies. The impact of Belgian retail in an international context is rather limited . The Belgian distribution only buys 6.8 % of the total home pork production and cannot possibly aid the entire market, let alone the export. Colruyt Group will however do everything in its power to ensure that these discussions result in structural and stabilising measures offering a future perspective for all stakeholders.

Contact
Jan Derom
press@colruytgroup.com
+32 (0)2 363 55 45
+32 (0)473 92 45 10

SOURCE: Colruyt Group

Colruyt Group to switch to cooling installations that operate on natural propane; 90% fewer greenhouse gases

Halle, Belgium, 2015-11-30 — /EPR Retail News/ — New step in CO2 reduction plan: a 20% decrease in relative emissions by 2020

Colruyt Group is switching to cooling installations that operate on natural propane gas and that emit as much as 90% fewer greenhouse gases than the current ones. The group will eventually outfit all 360 Colruyt, OKay, and Bio-Planet stores in Belgium with these installations. This will decrease the retailer’s total greenhouse gas emissions in Belgium by 10%. “By choosing propane cooling, Colruyt Group is once again taking a big step in realising their own goals for the environment: a 20% decrease of the greenhouse gas emissions by 2020, as relative to 2009”, says project engineer Collin Bootsveld.

30 times less cooling agent
The retailer mainly made this decision because propane cooling systems have a low impact on the environment. During their entire existence, these systems emit 90% fewer greenhouse gases than the traditional installations that operate on the current synthetic cooling agent. Project engineer Collin Bootsveld: “We decided on a compact type of propane cooling that contains 30 times less cooling agent than traditional systems. Moreover, almost no propane is lost due to leakage. Should any propane escape after all, it will be thousand times less harmful to the atmosphere than a synthetic cooling agent.”

For all food stores
The new Bio-Planet store in Bergen will be the first to have this type of propane cooling system, that the group wants to install in all food stores. Bio-Planet Hasselt will follow in March 2016 and by mid 2016 all new Colruyt and OKay stores. From 2017 onwards, the old cooling installations in existing stores will be replaced when other renovations are taking place. The retailer hopes to have converted around 90 of their stores by 2020 in this manner. Once all the old installations using synthetic cooling agents have been removed, the group’s total greenhouse gas emissions in Belgium will have been decreased by 10%. “Moreover, the cooling system will also help us to further decrease the heating emissions”, says Bootsveld. “We will recover the heat produced by the system and use it to heat the stores. Then we will have to use fewer fossil fuels to do that.”

Pioneers
Colruyt Group has been working on decreasing the environmental impact of its cooling system for quite a while. For instance, the industrial cooling installations in the Belgian distribution centres have been operating on ammonia since 1999. This substance has no environmental impact. Bootsveld: “For our food stores, we were the first in Belgium to test propane cooling in 2013. And late last year we made the decision to switch to propane everywhere. Because of this, we are pioneers in the field and we have therefore invested in a test installation, so our cooling technicians can become familiar with propane cooling.”

With this initiative, Colruyt Group is years ahead of European legislation as well. According to a European regulation from earlier this year, no new cooling systems operating on the current synthetic cooling agent may be installed from 2020 onwards.

Visual material can be downloaded from:
http://www.colruytgroup.be/en/media/images?title=Propane

Contact
Jan Derom
press@colruytgroup.com
+32 (0)2 363 55 45
+32 (0)473 92 45 10

SOURCE: Colruyt Group

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Colruyt Group to switch to cooling installations that operate on natural propane; 90% fewer greenhouse gases

Colruyt Group to switch to cooling installations that operate on natural propane; 90% fewer greenhouse gases

Colruyt Group’s Spar opened first new generation supermarket in Kessel, Belgium

Halle, Belgium, 2015-11-30 — /EPR Retail News/ — On Thursday, October 29, the first new generation of Colruyt Group’s Spar supermarkets opened in Kessel. Spar wants to combine the joy of grocery shopping with the authenticity of a local supermarket. To this end, the Kessel store was completely renovated. Retail Partners Colruyt Group developed the new generation in consultation with the independent Spar entrepreneurs. After a thorough evaluation which will ask for help from employees and customers, the concept will be refined further.

Developed together with entrepreneurs

Retail Partners Colruyt group developed this new store concept in consultation with the independent entrepreneurs.”A year and a half ago, we put together a reflection team consisting of entrepreneurs and people from different departments: sales, marketing, purchasing, etc. This team set up a model store, aimed at the needs and tastes of the Spar customer in 2020”, says project leader Yves Dauwe. “This store’s concept is based on five pillars: duplicability, uniformity, modularity, involvement, and originality. First and foremost, this concept can be applied to all stores, not just in terms of size, but also realisation and cost. Certain elements will be present everywhere, ensuring the Spar stores are recognisable to the customer. In addition, each entrepreneur can adapt their supermarket to their speciality. We also involve everyone in this tale: all the internal employees, the entrepreneurs, their personnel, and the customers. Finally, each store strives to be original. We will further refine this concept on the basis of feedback.”

Market-like feeling and an emphasis on freshness

The fresh food aisles are the most important feature of the new generation of Spar stores and they create a market-like feeling. Due to the practical design consisting of high and low shelves, customers have a good view of the bakery, butcher and cheese sections. It also allows customers to always ask store employees for help. There are also several fruit and vegetable stations. Wine and beer are presented in such a way as to draw extra attention. Moreover, there is an event zone where Spar focuses on different themes: Sinterklaas, barbecue, Easter, etc. Customers can find inspiration on digital screens with recipes, dinner ideas, and product information. The registers look different as well. The conveyor belt is no more; employees will transfer the groceries directly from the shopping basket or trolley to the carrier bag. Contact with the customer is even more personalised, and the wait times at the register will be shorter.

Spar: fresh products, sharp prices, and good food

The Spar stores are pleasant local supermarket, operated by professional independent entrepreneurs who make their stores unique with their own emphases. They are located in the centre of villages or towns and distinguish themselves through fresh products, sharp prices, and a love of good food. The store sizes run from 300 to 1,200 m².

Retail Partners Colruyt Group

Retail Partners Colruyt Group unites all of Colruyt Group’s Belgian activities that involve independent entrepreneurs. There exists an intense collaboration with the 210 independent Spar entrepreneurs: supply, full support, and an exhaustive consultation model. Retail Partners supplies fresh products and groceries to 79 Alvo stores, and they also offer several services and basic advice such as product range and advertising policies. Finally, they organise supplies to 140 independent store owners, including 28 Mini Markets.

More information

Arlette Ghysels, marketing head Spar: 02 360 10 40.
Spar Kessel: Liersesteenweg 49 – 2560 Kessel.

Contact
Jan Derom
press@colruytgroup.com
+32 (0)2 363 55 45
+32 (0)473 92 45 10

SOURCE: Colruyt Group

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Colruyt Group’s Spar opened first new generation supermarket in Kessel, Belgium

Colruyt Group’s Spar opened first new generation supermarket in Kessel, Belgium

Colruyt Group’s internal energy producer and supplier WE-Power renamed itself Eoly

Colruyt Group’s energy producer and supplier chooses cooperations

Halle, Belgium, 2015-11-20 — /EPR Retail News/ — Colruyt Group’s internal energy producer and supplier renamed itself Eoly instead of the former WE-Power. Eoly will continue to develop the production of green power by means of wind turbines and solar panels. In this way, Colruyt Group will be able to meet its own energy needs and reduce its market dependence. Eoly will also start participations allowing citizens to become co-owners of a wind turbine. The name Eoly appears for the first time on the turbines in Lot (Laekebeek) that were inaugurated today.

Partnership and participation
Eoly wants to expand the production farm and invest in innovative forms of energy production and storage. The energy expert wants to guarantee its internal customers a stable sustainable energy supply at the lowest cost. Eoly also wants to help them use energy sustainably, a/o by measuring consumption and making suggestions to save energy.
Finally, Eoly wants to give citizens the opportunity to invest in future wind turbine projects. It will be possible for neighbours as well as co-workers and customers to buy shares and become co-owners of a wind turbine, and receive an annual fee for it.

11 turbines early 2016
The new turbines at Laekebeek supply their power directly to the adjoining distribution centre. With 2 MW each they produce enough electricity to cover the consumption of 2,900 households, thus reducing CO2 emissions by 3,100 tonnes a year. Eoly will presently start to use another new turbine in Sint-Pieters-Leeuw, near the Brussels-Charleroi canal. At the beginning of 2016 another turbine will be added on the Colruyt Group Fine Food Meat site in Halle. This one will supply electricity directly to the meat-processing plant. Eoly’s wind farm will then include 11 turbines. Permits to build 8 turbines in the Hainaut province were also applied for.

Solar panels and cogeneration
Apart from the wind turbines, Eoly also operates solar panels on 43 sites, the recently started cogeneration installation and the hydrogen station at Dassenveld. Eoly supplies to different companies and production departments in the group and to independent Spar and Alvo stores. Today, the production covers about 15 % of Colruyt Group’s consumption, the rest is bought on the wholesale market. In time, Eoly wants to produce sufficient green energy to cover the whole group’s power needs.

More info: www.eoly.be

Contact
Jan Derom
press@colruytgroup.com
+32 (0)2 363 55 45
+32 (0)473 92 45 10

SOURCE: Colruyt Group

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Colruyt Group’s internal energy producer and supplier WE-Power renamed itself Eoly

Colruyt Group’s internal energy producer and supplier WE-Power renamed itself Eoly

Colruyt Group expands mobile payment solutions

Halle, Belgium, 2015-11-12 — /EPR Retail News/ — After having launched mobile payments via the SEQR application in all physical brand stores and online stores, the Colruyt Group is extending this option to applications offered by KBC/CBC and Bancontact/Mister Cash. This alternative is rolled out from today and will be available in 400 Colruyt, OKay, Bio-Planet and Dreambaby stores as from 13 November. It will be rolled out to Dreamland and Spar at the start of 2016. Payment by smartphone has seen a significant increase since its launch last spring.

How to pay using your smartphone
The two apps can be downloaded from the App Store, Windows Phone Store or Google Play. For the KBC/CBC app, you need to hold an account at one of the 2 banks. For the Bancontact/Mister Cash app, you need to be a customer at one of the 19 participating banks.

Payment in store via your smartphone is fast, simple and reliable and does not require use of a bank card and card reader. Furthermore, it’s free for the client.
To pay, all you need to do is connect in store via the “Colruyt Group Wifi”, which will allow for a connection even if the GSM coverage is insufficient, then scan the QR code at the till and confirm the amount using your pin number.

An increasingly popular payment method
For Colruyt Group, the expansion of mobile payment solutions is a logical step following the introduction of SEQR last spring. It is a way of passing on the benefits to a greater number of people. Since its roll out in all of its stores last spring, smartphone payments have seen a significant increase. “We are fast approaching the 100,000 transactions threshold, in just a little over 6 months since the launch of mobile payments in our stores”, explains Michel Van Mello, project manager at Colruyt Group. “This represents nearly 16% of all mobile transactions processed on the Belgian market. It’s therefore a resounding success! We are delighted to have found, in KBC/CBC and Bancontact/Mister Cash the ideal partners with which to champion and accelerate up this method and allow our clients to manage their purchases in an increasingly simple and efficient method. ”

Shop and pay with your smartphone: it’s completely normal
Payment by mobile is riding high. “Currently, more than half a million KBC/CBC customers use their smartphones for bank transactions. And this number is only set to increase”, explains Ivo De Meersman, Payments and Cards Director at KBC/CBC. “This is how our clients show us just how important it has become for them to be able to make transfers, save or pay bills where and when they need to, quickly and in a completely secure system. It is our clients that direct us to which innovations we should be focusing and this increase has shown us that we are meeting their expectations. Within this context, thanks to our collaboration with Colruyt Group, we are able to offer customers of KBC, CBC and KBC-Brussels a large network of stores in which they can pay for their purchases by smartphone. KBC/CBC is the first bank to offer this service in Belgium. Also, by integrating the Bancontact/Mister Cash mobile solution, KBC/CBC and Colruyt Group make it possible to pay by mobile phone in store for more than one and a half million users. ”

For more information

Contact
Jan Derom
press@colruytgroup.com
+32 (0)2 363 55 45
+32 (0)473 92 45 10

SOURCE: Colruyt Group

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Colruyt Group expands mobile payment solutions

Colruyt Group expands mobile payment solutions

Colruyt Group’s fresh market CRU opens in Ghent, Belgium

Halle, Belgium, 2015-10-22 — /EPR Retail News/ — CRU, Colruyt Group’s fresh market, is coming to Ghent. CRU announced this to the press today at the presentation of the new Matexi Kouterdreef project. CRU is a new concept created for and by people with a passion for great food, pure flavours and authentic quality products. The market will open in the spring of 2016.

Expansion of the test
Having tested the CRU concept in a renovated farmhouse in Overijse, we are now ready to expand the test to a city. The second market will be located at the Kouter in Ghent: a large open ‘market’ space with 10 trades and a lunch corner.

Child of the soil
“Establishing the second CRU in Ghent is not a coincidence”, says Jean-Pierre Roelands, CRU director: “Three of the key employees of our CRU concept were born and bred in Ghent. Wherever we go, we want to be a ‘local’. The location along the Kouterdreef is ideal to get tuned into the city centre. This test will help us determine the further roll-out of CRU.”

Enthusiastic colleagues
CRU is looking for passionate professionals for the open bakery and butcher’s workshops and the fish department. The team also needs people who love food and like to welcome and serve customers. Experience in catering is a strength. Since it is a new concept and a young team, they will have ample opportunity to grow in the trade and as a person.

Contact
Jan Derom
press@colruytgroup.com
+32 (0)2 363 55 45
+32 (0)473 92 45 10

SOURCE: Colruyt Group

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Colruyt Group's fresh market CRU opens in Ghent, Belgium

Colruyt Group’s fresh market CRU opens in Ghent, Belgium

Belgium: Colruyt Group opens shopping centre in Jambes on the former ‘Atelier’ industrial site

Colruyt Group continues its investments in Wallonia

Halle, Belgium, 2015-10-15 — /EPR Retail News/ — After the inauguration last June of the new Ath-Lessines distribution centre, Colruyt Group is continuing to invest in Wallonia, this time by opening a shopping centre in Jambes, on the former ‘Atelier’ industrial site. Located at the entrance to the town and as a multi-purpose project, it offers some 9,500 m2 of buildings and an underground car park with 313 spaces. The complex houses 4 complementing brands as well as the Colruyt Group Academy’s local branch. The purpose of this project is to simplify the lives of those living in Namur.

Increasing its presence in Wallonia

The opening of such a site originated from Colruyt’s Group’s desire to establish a greater presence in Wallonia. In line with the ambition of expanding the Colruyt store at Rue Commandant Tilot and setting up a Dreambaby and Bio-Planet store in the region, an opportunity arose for grouping together 4 complementing brands on the same site, as well as setting up the Colruyt Group Academy’s local branch. A large-scale project, also leading to the creation of 25 jobs. At this time, some 1,300 of the group’s employees live in the Namur region. On a whole, this is the second large-scale project that has seen the day this year in Wallonia. Going back a few months, the group inaugurated its Ath/Lessines distribution centre in the Hainaut district, thus creating some 350 new jobs.

A town gateway project

Colruyt Group has joined together with the Besix real estate group and its Cobelba division to defend the project for transforming the former industrial site known as “l’Atelier” into a town gateway project. With support from the local authorities, an S.A.R. (area for redevelopment) procedure was approved in 2012, authorising the allocation of the site to a multi-purpose project combining housing, shops and services. The shopping centre is located along the Pont des Grands Malades, forming a noise screen protecting the rest of the site. The housing is built on the banks of the Meuse.

Eco-friendly

Always looking to maintain an environmentally-friendly approach, Colruyt Group is also taking initiatives in terms of renewable energy and sustainability. The Jambes site is very well insulated (factor K21, compared to factor K45 imposed by law) and is equipped with eco-friendly components such as solar panels or a rainwater collection system to feed the future ornamental ponds located nearby. Reminder: it was also in the Namur region, and more precisely at Wépion, that the first Colruyt low-energy (K12) store was born in 2012. WE-Power, Colruyt Group’s sustainable energy provider and producer, also owns a wind farm at Spy, bordering the E42.

Simplifying the lives of those living in Namur

The brand new building is home to four complementing brands:

Colruyt: for shopping at the best prices, the Colruyt store formerly located at Rue Commandant Tilot, has moved to the Atelier site. With its larger surface area (2,500 m²), it offers in-store facilities classed as 4thgeneration facilities, including the self-service butchers.

Collect & Go: for our customers with little time to spare, the site will also benefit from a Collect&Go pick-up point providing Colruyt Group’s online shopping service.

Dreamland: the Erpent store is also moving to the Atelier site. The toy specialist boasts the widest selection of toys in the region.

Dreambaby: the baby specialist is opening its 5th store in Wallonia. Items carefully selected for parents, parents-to-be and babies, expert advice and a unique gift registry service.

As well as:

The Colruyt Group Academy: the site will house the new Namur branch of the Colruyt Group Academy, which offers a selection of workshops and training programmes targeting individuals and based on 6 topics: Cooking and tasting, Well-being and relaxation, Home and garden, Social issues, Babies and Kids & Co… Its aim? To offer practical advice applicable to everyday life and provide inspiration in a relaxed atmosphere.

Coming soon…

Bio-Planet: next spring, a Bio-Planet store, specialised in the sale of organic and ecological products, will set up shop in the building of the former Colruyt store in Jambes at Rue Commandant Tilot.

www.colruyt.be
www.dreamland.be
www.collectandgo.be
www.dreambaby.be
www.bioplanet.be
www.colruytgroupacademy.be

For more information:

Jan Derom, Colruyt Group press officer. Tel.: +32 (0)2 363 55 45 or +32 (0)4 73 92 45 10.
E-mail: jan.derom@colruytgroup.com

About Colruyt Group
Colruyt Group operates in the food and non-food distribution sector in Belgium, France and Luxembourg with approximately 500 own stores and over 500 affiliated stores. In Belgium this includes Colruyt, OKay, Bio-Planet, Dreamland, Dreambaby and the affiliated stores Spar and Spar Compact.  In France, in addition to the affiliated Coccinelle, CocciMarket and Panier Sympa stores, there are also approximately 70 Colruyt stores. The group is also actively involved in the food service industry (supplying food products to hospitals, company canteens and catering firms) in France (Pro à Pro) and Belgium (Solucious). Other activities include fuel distribution (DATS 24), digital printing and document management solutions (Symeta) and the production of green energy. Colruyt Group employs over 28,000 people and recorded a turnover of over EUR 8.9 billion in 2014/15. Colruyt is listed on NYSE Euronext Brussels (COLR) under ISIN code BE0974256852.

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Belgium: Colruyt Group opens shopping centre in Jambes on the former 'Atelier' industrial site

Belgium: Colruyt Group opens shopping centre in Jambes on the former ‘Atelier’ industrial site

Colruyt Group and its partners in the purchasing group CORE join the oldest European retail alliance Alidis

HALLE, Belgium, 2015-8-7— /EPR Retail News/ — Colruyt Group and its current partners of the purchasing group CORE (the Swiss Coop and Italian Conad) combined their forces with the oldest European retail alliance Alidis. The “Alliance Internationale de Distributeurs” is composed of the German Edeka, the Spanish Eroski and the French Groupement des Mousquetaires, and will be the largest strategic alliance in Europe with the three new members. The affiliated retailers will be able to offer their customers an even more varied product range and more value for their money. The concentration of forces also opens new perspectives in terms of growth and synergy for the six partners and for their suppliers. The operation has yet to be approved by the competition authorities.

Added value for consumer, supplier and distributor
The six members of Alidis are worth a combined annual turnover of 140 billion euros. “Thanks to the larger purchasing volumes, Colruyt Group will certainly be able to offer the consumer added value”, Frans Colruyt, COO Retail at Colruyt Group, says. “I think of more innovation and variety in the products on offer and an even better price/quality ratio, both for our private labels and for the international brands.”

Moreover, the reinforced grouping sees new possibilities for its suppliers. They can gain access to new markets and thus generate volume growth. In addition, they will be able to spread their investments in for instance innovation or marketing campaigns across several countries.

Finally, the strategic alliance also offers growth potential for the members themselves. Frans Colruyt: “By exchanging knowledge and experience, synergies can develop in working on and in domains such as technology, sustainability, quality and store concepts. Together, we can also react better to the fast evolutions that put the retail sector under pressure today. And the production facilities of the different partners can gain a few extra market opportunities in the long run.”

Strong position in the domestic markets
The Alidis alliance was founded in 2002 by the French Groupement des Mousquetaires and Spanish Eroski Group and was joined in 2005 by the German Edeka Group. With Colruyt Group, the Swiss Coop and Italian Conad joining them, Alidis becomes the most important alliance of independent retailers in Europe. “In addition to the substantial total purchasing volume, the strength of the alliance is certainly also in our joint strategic long-term vision”, Frans Colruyt explains.

The six retail groups have a strong market position and many-branched store network in eight countries: Belgium, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Switzerland, Poland and Portugal.

More information:
Chris Tournicourt
chris.tournicourt@colruytgroup.com
+32 (0)2 360 10 40
+32 (0)471 73 88 01