Colruyt is launching its own home delivery service to a limited extent

Collect & Go, the Colruyt group’s online shopping service, starts with home deliveries from its own employees in seven Brussels and four Antwerp municipalities.

For a retailer who has maintained for years that home delivery is not an interesting economic model, launching a home delivery service is a milestone. However, Collect & Go’s new delivery service will not immediately make big waves in the supermarket landscape. In a first phase, the service will only be available to customers in 11 municipalities in Brussels and Antwerp (see box).

We start with more than 20 deliveries and want to grow to 50 deliveries in one year.

Borrow the dice

Head of Innovation Collect & Go

Municipalities will be added in the coming months, but which of them is not yet known. “We start with more than 20 deliveries and want to grow to 50 deliveries in a year’s time,” says Leen De Dobbeleer, Head of Innovation Collect & Go.

The delivery service, which uses nine natural gas vans, is part of a broader offensive around home delivery of groceries. In ten cities, the Colruyt group already works with 500 so-called ‘drivers’, private drivers who bring your groceries home with their own car. From the end of this month, Turnhout, Ostend and Kortrijk will also be supplied in this way.

Well half the families

The essence

  • The Colruyt department Collect & Go now delivers homes in Woluwe-Saint-Lambert, Woluwe-Saint-Pierre, Kraainem, Wezembeek-Oppem, Etterbeek, Oudergem, Watermaal-Bosvoorde, Hoboken, Wilrijk, Edegem and Mortsel.
  • The company’s own deliveries go beyond an existing network of private ‘drivers’.
  • Home delivery at Colruyt costs 12.95 euros, more than similar services from competitors.

Colruyt wants to use both systems – external drivers and its own employees – to expand its home delivery network. “The goal is to be able to serve half of the Belgian households within a year,” says De Dobbeleer. In addition to home delivery, Colruyt has for a long time offered a pick-up service in more than 200 supermarkets.

The supermarket group Halse has long been a cool lover of e-commerce, but has increased its ambitions in recent years. The group invested in Smartmat, the company through the meal box supplier Foodbag and the online supermarket Rayon. Since 2015, Collect & Go has been considered in the group as an independent department to develop new services.

The Corona pandemic has given the online shopping services in our country a huge boost, which means that Colruyt cannot lag behind either. ‘Collect & Go has achieved more than 50 percent revenue growth in the fiscal year 2019-2020,’ says CEO Tom De Prater. ‘In two years, we have gained 250,000 more customers.’

Distribution center in Londerzeel

The renewed belief in e-commerce took shape in the construction of a new 18,000 m² distribution center in Londerzeel, just between Brussels and Antwerp. Home deliveries from our own employees will now depart from this center. A small distribution center of 4,000 m² in Zaventem closed. Colruyt also has a 9,000 m² distribution center in Erpe-Mere in East Flanders.

The building in Londerzeel can currently handle 8,000 orders per week, but is expected to see significant growth in e-commerce in the coming years. Part of the floor is still empty and can be used in the coming years to automate certain activities. The distribution center has 250 employees and wants to recruit 50 new ones every year.


home bookings

The current capacity of the Collect & Go distribution center in Londerzeel

Colruyt invested in heat and rainwater recovery and in more than 3,000 solar panels to power the distribution center. The most important logistical innovation lies in the organization of the refrigeration chain. Collect & Go uses new insulated cooling boxes that can be easily stacked on a pallet. Each box contains a removable heat sink and a sensor that permanently measures and transmits the temperature. It is said that the system is more economical and efficient than the special refrigerated trucks still used in other distribution centers.

Colruyt charges 12.95 euros for home delivery, more than the delivery services from Delhaize and Carrefour, which remain below 10 euros. The company says it does not want to make a difference with the price, but with the service. ‘Our providers take e.g. also the empty items left and can settle any discount coupons. ‘ Colruyt also points out that the contribution of 7 euros in the driver system goes exclusively to the drivers. They have to pay 75 øre in tax on it.

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