Albert Heijn is set to introduce home deliveries in Belgium. The service will launch in spring and be initially available within the Antwerp region.
The retailer has launched a website where customers can indicate their interest in home delivery, saying it will add new areas partly based on customer feedback.
The company didn’t give exact details on what the offer would comprise. However, Albert Heijn already offers a delivery service in the Netherlands, available six days a week. It charges between €3.95 and €12.95 depending on the time slot chosen, with a minimum order size of €50 on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursdays.
The service is next day, with a delivery time given to within half an hour within the app. Customers can pay via a mobile device carried by the delivery driver, who helps bring the shopping into their kitchen.
Raf Van den Heuvel, general manager of Albert Heijn Belgium: “We have a proven formula in Belgium: Dutch prices, a surprising range, and personal service. We further expand that personal service.
“Delivering at home reinforces Albert Heijn’s proposition in Belgium. We are ambitious in our growth - we want to achieve this through the opening of strong new stores and the expansion of our online offering.
"We are further expanding our shopping service with feedback and input from the customers. That’s how we grew in our physical stores, that’s how we will do it for home deliveries."
Our view: Based on the minimum order value, Albert Heijn is clearly orienting this model around big weekly shops rather than convenience or top-up shopping.
As well as discount retailers like Aldi and Lidl and established competitors such as Carrefour, the grocer is facing new competition in Belgium from Jumbo, another Dutch brand which opened its first store in early 2019 and plans to launch hundreds more. It is particularly targeting the Flanders region, where Albert Heijn is launching this delivery service. Jumbo offers next-day deliveries in the Netherlands but has yet to expand this to Belgium.
Carrefour has offered home delivery in Belgium since 2017 through its "Drive" service.