Dutch grocery retailer Ahold is going to open its first store in Belgium in March.

The store in Brasschaat, located north of Antwerp and less than 10 kilometres from the Dutch border, will be franchise-owned by Nathalie and Marco Van Ende and supplied by the existing Albert Heijn warehouse in Tilburg, Netherlands.

The long-awaited move could signal a step up in competition for rivals in Belgium such as Colruyt, Delhaize and Carrefour.