In the picture: Aldi opens a compact store concept tailored to Brussels
With a new, compact store format Aldi become the neighborhood supermarket of Brussels. The discounter already has about six new projects planned, together representing an investment of 35 million euros.
City shop with low prices
Aldi opened its 23 on Wednesday morningst Brussels store, on the Kroonlaan in Ixelles, near the university campus. With a surface area of barely 600 m², it is only half the size of an average modern Aldi. Yet this is not an adapted City concept: the discounter sells its full range of 1600 references here, but on a limited surface. In this way, the retailer responds to the purchasing behavior of city dwellers, who often drop by for smaller baskets.
The range in the city shops is the same as for the elderly, although there is relatively more room for categories such as fresh and halal. With low prices, the discounter can distinguish itself from other convenience stores. “In city shops of fellow food retailers, prices are often higher, but not with us,” says Erik Winters, who heads the Aldi power plant in Zemst. “We are one of the few that still retain national prizes.” Aldi sees these low prices in a proximity store as a unique asset in Brussels.
Smaller shopping carts
Because the available space in the city center is limited, Aldi uses it creatively. For example, the retail chain uses smaller, smaller shopping carts here. As a result, the aisles can also be a bit smaller. Products get a little less faces, the shelves are slightly higher to store more stock. There is no false ceiling for the sense of space, the classic freezer islands have been replaced by space-saving wall units. There are only three cash registers, with an extra short conveyor belt. The stock is in the basement. Because city residents and students use less cars, the parking lot is limited to ten spaces.
Aldi does not rule out the possibility of rolling out this compact store concept in other cities, but for now the focus is on the capital. “This is a city with a population of reuse. We see a lot of potential, want to get closer to the people of Brussels and become the neighborhood supermarket of the capital,” says expansion manager Geert De Roy. He sees no opportunities, especially in the south and east of the city. Aldi is building new stores here, but is also redeveloping existing buildings to make way for mixed projects.
Aldi has concrete projects for the first two years in Schaarbeek (2), Evere, Braine-l’Alleud, Uccle and Grimbergen. Together they represent an investment of 35 million euros. Not all of those new Brussels Aldi stores will be compact: that depends on the local situation.
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With a new, compact store format, Aldi will become the neighborhood supermarket of Brussels. The discounter already has about six new projects planned, together representing an investment of 35 million euros.