Delhaize Belgium is planning to build a second delivery centre in Vorst (Forest), which it says will double its e-commerce capacity.
The retailer has teamed up with property developer Montea, which will be responsible for constructing the 20,000 square-metre building.
Former Lipton Factory
The new facility will be erected on the site of the former Lipton factory, bought by Montea in 2008, a location deemed ideal on the outskirts of Brussels, according to the retailer.
The demolition of the old buildings on the site has commenced, and the partners aim to make the new e-commerce centre operational by early autumn next year, Delhaize said.
Inside the building, all cooling and heating will use heat pumps, eliminating the use of gas. Rainwater will be collected for the toilets and outdoor taps. There will also be smart skylights on the roof to optimise natural light.
The deliveries from the facility will operate on optimally planned routes, with fewer kilometres and electric vehicles that are best suited in a certain region, the Belgian retailer aded.
Delhaize has not disclosed the investment made for the project, which should ultimately lead to the creation of some 500 jobs.
For its part, Montea has said that the lease will be for 15 years and that the investment budget for the land and the development of the facilities is estimated to be €38.5 million.
The new logistics centre in Forest (Vorst) will join an existing facility in Puurs, near Antwerp, and smaller regional centres in Liège, Ghent and Drogenbos.
The expansion will enable Delhaize to strengthen its leadership position in home food delivery, providing improved service and greater product availability to its online customers, it said.
According to Delhaize, the COVID-19 pandemic has had a boosting effect on online product sales, with double-digit growth seen since June 2022.