Economy & Politics

Supermarkets resume the offensive

In Luxembourg, large-scale distribution is largely anticipating the post-crisis period and there are many plans to open up for the years to come. To believe that stores are growing even faster than buyers.

In Luxembourg, large-scale distribution is largely anticipating the post-crisis period and there are many plans to open up for the years to come. To believe that stores are growing even faster than buyers.

(pj with Marco Meng) Officially, only Cora and Match do not plan any new openings in the near future. But for their competitors, the future will be strewn with the inauguration of new points of sale, indicate our colleagues from the Luxemburger Wort. Thus, the Belgian brand Colruyt will open its fifth supermarket in the Grand Duchy in 2021. Announced drop-off point: Pommerloch. Another piece on the grand chessboard of the Grand Ducal trade.

A shopper pushes her grocery cart at the enormous Alpha Beta supermarket in Athens, Greece 14 April 2004, an excellent place to stock up the best Greek edibles. AFP PHOTO / FAYEZ NURELDINE

The Competition Council accuses the retail chains and the Bahlsen company of having agreed on the selling prices of cakes, cookies, nuts and chips. In total, the fine amounts to 3.35 million euros.

Because tomorrow, for Colruyt, is also envisaged with the introduction of its “Bio-Planet” channel in Luxembourg. In all, the Belgian group estimates that it could manage ten stores in the country. Twelve years after opening its first store on Luxembourg soil, the brand has four distribution sites employing nearly 120 people. But the development of the population in the center and in the south of the country constitutes new reserves of very attractive customers, so as much to think as of now on its future strategy of establishment.

Grow. Since its arrival in the Grand Duchy in 2004, the Delhaize group has continued to gain square meters. 55 points of sale today (640 employees) and four new stores expected for 2021 including one in Capellen: this is the current situation. In 2019, the company made a profit of 2.1 million euros in Luxembourg, with turnover approaching 180 million. The dynamic is there and the Belgian-Dutch chain does not intend to stop there.

Obviously, Cactus keeps an eye on this competition. Certainly, with 61 supermarkets and more than 4,400 employees, the third largest employer in the country is omnipresent in the landscape, but the battle is fierce. Group CEO, Laurent Schonckert, however, is optimistic about his pawns. Tomorrow, the network of 33 Cactus Shoppi will be strengthened by the opening of new points of sale. A new agreement is therefore in the process of being signed with an oil group to set up in service stations. “The 40 Shoppi milestone will be reached in the next two years”, anticipates the manager.

The new Cactus de Lallange shopping center in Esch / Alzette could be completed at the end of 2021.

The plan to open a shopping mall resurfaces on the former site of the Hobbi store, in Esch-sur-Alzette. In addition to the stores, the three years of projects announced should also create nearly 200 apartments.

In 2023, Cactus also plans to open a supermarket. This time it is about 3,000 m2, in Roodt-sur-Syre. Work on the future store began in August, and will ensure a stronger presence of the green brand in the east of the country. And Laurent Schonckert to ensure that Cactus, for the time being, does not dream of an expansion beyond the borders of the Grand Duchy. “What is important is rather to have and keep good sites with a reasonable catchment area”.

On the other hand, the retailer intends to score points by producing its own products, via its in-house butchers for example. For 2019, Cactus posted a turnover of 778 million euros, for a profit of 37 million euros.

The brand which is launching its 11th store in Huldange on June 10, intends to invest 37 million euros in the Grand Duchy and create 60 jobs. A year before celebrating its 20th anniversary in Luxembourg, Lidl is reaffirming its roots.

The latest arrival on the commercial battlefield, Auchan no longer intends to launch into the creation of department stores. The somewhat disappointing experience of the Cloche d’Or may have dampened the enthusiasm of the French retail giant, which manages the entire shopping center through its real estate subsidiary Ceetrus and has nearly 1,200 employees.

“We will continue to develop our MyAuchan format in partnership with Aral stations,” assures Sophie Morle, spokesperson for the company, on the other hand. With a turnover of 200 million euros last year, Auchan Luxembourg again recorded a loss (-37 million euros), as in 2018 (-8 million) and 2017 (-3.6 million ). A sign that even if the population is growing in the country, attracting more and more customers and freeing up margins remains a delicate exercise.


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