The Flemish Ambassador ‘Small Business’ AsterX: Healthy Balance in Beverages – Business

AsterX The drink came through the corona crisis without too many unharmed. The family business took over Antwerp’s liquor store Gagelmans, resulting in the addition of 300 catering businesses.

The Devrieze family has had a tough weekend. One year after taking over the liquor store De Kievit, she completely redesigned the store in Heist-op-den-Berg. “We started on Saturday night and worked almost day and night to get everything done as quickly as possible,” says Ruben Devrieze, director of AsterX Dranken and responsible for the stores. “Our location is now much more efficient. The selection of both beer and wine has doubled.”

Do it yourself shop

Do-it-yourself and renovation are in the DNA of the Devrieze family. Grandpa Aster started a seed and plant business in 1959, which later grew into a construction market. More than ten years ago, it came into the hands of the retail chain Hubo. Previously, the family had already started an import business for South African wines, and in 2015, she completely switched to the beverage industry by starting a beverage business in Rumst. Later he moved to Bornem.

AsterX now has four stores – in Waarloos, Boom, Heist-op-den-Berg and Bornem. In addition, after the acquisition of Van Der Plaetsen in Oostmalle, the company is also active as a wholesaler. Among other things, it supplies Inza milk and ice cubes to small liquor stores, catering companies and events. “Both products are doing really well,” says director Christophe Geeraerts.

The third leg of the group is catering. “With the recent acquisition of the beverage business Gagelmans in Antwerp, we got 300 catering companies in one go. We have therefore become the second largest catering player in the city of Antwerp,” says Christophe Geeraerts, who follows up on catering and wholesale business at AsterX. . His wife Lies Devrieze takes care of Mr. Her brother Sander is responsible for the import of the wines and also takes care of the marketing.

New customers

“We are constantly trying to find a healthy balance between the three activities,” emphasizes Ruben Devrieze. “We aim to get at least 40 percent of revenue from our stores. Private sales are important not only for our cash flow, but also and above all to stay in touch with the latest trends.”

This spread also proved to be an asset when the corona pandemic broke out in 2020. “Our revenue from catering and events fell to zero, while from wholesale it was almost halved”, sighs Christophe Geeraerts. “Fortunately, our stores were allowed to stay open. There, we saw a revenue increase of about 20 percent.”

“The corona crisis was not entirely negative for us,” Ruben Devrieze replies. “We got many new customers. The government had severely limited the number of customers per square meter, but thanks to our large retail space it was no problem. Our customers could shop with us in peace and quiet in a cozy atmosphere. Incidentally, that period experienced a significant increase in sales of spirits. We have more than 500 varieties in stock, including many exclusive products. ”

AsterX likes to present itself as a partner for large and small parties. Impeccable service is essential to make a party a success. Over the years, the company has invested in a comprehensive package of rental equipment: From glass, chairs and tables to refrigerated trailers, flush counters and a trolley. Most recently, however, the AsterX changed the rifle’s shoulders. “Corona has given us the opportunity to review our business. We have decided to focus on our core activities, and party equipment rental is not one of them. From now on, we work with Rent Solutions,” says Christophe Geeraerts.

Integration

In recent years, AsterX Dranken has made a number of acquisitions. Now there is no one in the pipeline. “We focus primarily on the integration of Gagelmans,” says Christophe Geeraerts. “We receive weekly calls from liquor retailers who want to leave their business. We are looking at every opportunity. It is important that there is sufficient synergy.”

The Devrieze family has had a tough weekend. One year after taking over the liquor store De Kievit, she completely redesigned the store in Heist-op-den-Berg. “We started on Saturday night and worked almost day and night to get everything done as quickly as possible,” says Ruben Devrieze, director of AsterX Dranken and responsible for the stores. “Our location is now much more efficient. The selection of both beer and wine has doubled.” Do-it-yourself and renovation are in the DNA of the Devrieze family. Grandpa Aster started a seed and plant business in 1959, which later grew into a construction market. More than ten years ago, it came into the hands of the retail chain Hubo. Previously, the family had already started an import business for South African wines, and in 2015, she completely switched to the beverage industry by starting a beverage business in Rumst. Later he moved to Bornem. AsterX now has four stores – in Waarloos, Boom, Heist-op-den-Berg and Bornem. In addition, after the acquisition of Van Der Plaetsen in Oostmalle, the company is also active as a wholesaler. Among other things, it supplies Inza milk and ice cubes to small liquor stores, catering companies and events. “Both products are doing really well,” says director Christophe Geeraerts. The third leg of the group is catering. “With the recent acquisition of the beverage business Gagelmans in Antwerp, we got 300 catering companies in one go. We have therefore become the second largest catering player in the city of Antwerp,” says Christophe Geeraerts, who follows up on catering and wholesale business at AsterX. . His wife Lies Devrieze takes care of Mr. Her brother Sander is responsible for the import of the wines and also takes care of the marketing. “We are constantly trying to find a healthy balance between the three activities,” emphasizes Ruben Devrieze. “We aim to get at least 40 percent of revenue from our stores. Private sales are important not only for our cash flow, but also and above all to stay in touch with the latest trends.” This spread also proved to be an asset when the corona pandemic broke out in 2020. “Our revenue from catering and events fell to zero, while from wholesale it was almost halved”, sighs Christophe Geeraerts. “Fortunately, our stores were allowed to stay open. There, we saw a revenue increase of about 20 percent.” “The corona crisis was not entirely negative for us,” Ruben Devrieze replies. “We got many new customers. The government had severely limited the number of customers per square meter, but thanks to our large retail space it was no problem. Our customers could shop with us in peace and quiet in a cozy atmosphere. Incidentally, that period experienced a significant increase in sales of spirits. We have more than 500 varieties in stock, including many exclusive products. ” AsterX likes to present itself as a partner for large and small parties. Impeccable service is essential to make a party a success. Over the years, the company has invested in a comprehensive package of rental equipment: From glass, chairs and tables to refrigerated trailers, flush counters and a trolley. Most recently, however, the AsterX changed the rifle’s shoulders. “Corona has given us the opportunity to review our business. We have decided to focus on our core activities, and party equipment rental is not one of them. From now on, we work with Rent Solutions,” says Christophe Geeraerts. In recent years, AsterX Dranken has made a number of acquisitions. Now there is no one in the pipeline. “We focus primarily on the integration of Gagelmans,” says Christophe Geeraerts. “We receive weekly calls from liquor retailers who want to leave their business. We are looking at every opportunity. It is important that there is sufficient synergy.”

Leave a Comment