Ecological and Chic CRU Supermarket
Colruyt, one of the leading discount and convenience supermarket chain in Belgium, has recently confirmed 2 new openings of its CRU (“raw in English) high-end authentic fresh footsore subsidiary. The first 1,000 sqm CRU iteration has opened in late 2014, near Bruxelles, in a former farm.
CRU is now about to open in Gent and Wijnegem. If these stores meet the brand financial objectives, CRU is likely to roll out the concept nationally.
With CRU, Colruyt aims to meet the growing demand for higher quality locally-produced fresh food items. The store design and the general atmosphere are dedicated to immerse affluent shoppers into an authentic and chic environment where quality and expertise are brought together with conviviality and experience.
Let’s dig in to see what CRU is all about :
- CRU showcases 10 fresh produce areas under one roof. Each of them is focusing on a short range of high-quality and locally-produced range of products. Cru has partnered with local producers who are ready to share the adventure of the new retail concept. Obviously, the range of products varies seasonally.
- CRU only displays 800 items or so. The grocery category doesn’t feature international brands to favor artisanal ones instead. Coffees, beers and wines are particularly showcased. Don’t count on CRU to supply your home with health and beauty products. They are just not there.
- CRU provides its visitors with a comfortable “living” area where people can taste products, have some bites, drink coffee or a beer. Wine is also available through a popular automatic vending machine. If you want to stay longer and enjoy treats and dishes from the delicatessen area of the store, the welcoming outdoor terrace is definitely the place to be.
- Note that CRU has installed public toilets in the store. Not so often available in supermarkets (at least in France and Belgium).
- Cru is also ahead of technology. Thanks to a tablet that can be fixed on the grocery cart, visitors autonomously scan every item they pick-up. Once they are done with their groceries, shoppers pay at a payment terminal where almost any control is made from the store associates. The receipt will be sent to the customers later via email.
As many supermarket chains in western Europe, CRU is poised to take advantage of the growing number of shoppers deeply involved in natural, locally grown, fresh products. CRU retail concept appears to be strong and relevant enough now to be rolled out a step further.
As a truly food destination store, CRU is really shaking up the Belgian market. Financially speaking, catering service is undoubtedly a key strategic issue for the brand to cope with its higher operational costs compared to a traditional supermarket.
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