International News - Delhaize moves into Germany

Belgian supermarket giant Delhaize has opened its first store in Germany and plans to expand there later this year.

A 1,500 sq m store has opened in Aachen and is aimed at customers who previously shopped at Delhaize shops on the Luxembourg and Belgian borders.

Speaking at the opening, Delhaize Belux chief executive Arthur Goethals admitted the move was a difficult one. 'The German retail sector is no bed of roses. Discount stores are predominant, which results in merciless price wars,' he said.

However, he believed the number of German visitors to Delhaize's border stores proved they were attracted by something different.

'They come to Delhaize because of the quality and freshness of our products, as well as our extensive and varied range,' he said.

The store has been localised to suit the market and nearly half of the range comprises typically German products.

A second shop will open in the Pontdriesch Quarter of Aachen in October.

At 650 sq m, it will be less than half the size of the first and will carry a convenience offer.

Both stores will be managed from the Belgian head office. A roll-out decision will be made when performance is assessed.