Grocers Coles and Delhaize are to launch discount formats as the trend for budget food shopping grows with the deepening global downturn.
Australian outfit Coles is creating a discount chain to replace its Bi-Lo stores, which suffered a huge knock last year when a rebranding exercise by the retailer’s previous owners alienated budget-conscious shoppers.

Coles managing director Ian McLeod said the new-concept stores would be tested before being rolled out nationally. The stores will test how shoppers respond to lower prices and larger numbers of own-label products.

The move follows several trials at Coles supermarkets, including testing whether shoppers will accept a cut in product ranges of up to 30 per cent, resulting in fewer brands being stocked in each category.

The failure of Bi-Lo left a gap for German discounter Aldi to soak up market share in Australia, although supermarkets Coles and Woolworths still dominate the market.

Similarly, Belgium-based retailer Delhaize will open a discount store in the French speaking part of its home country next January. A spokesman for the retailer said the concept store will be more “simple to use and have lower prices than the Delhaize stores”.

The Belgian retail market is already well served by heavy discounters. Operating in the country is homegrown grocer Colruyt, alongside German discounters Lidl and Aldi.