Retail

Jumbo Supermarkets Founder Karel van Eerd Passes Away

By Steve Wynne-Jones
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Karel van Eerd, the Dutch entrepreneur who established the Jumbo Supermarkets chain, has passed away at the age of 84.

In a statement, Jumbo said that van Eerd had been 'ill for some time', but remained closely involved with Jumbo until his passing, as chairman of the supervisory board.

Rise Of A Retailer

van Eerd, whose career started in retail in 1956, when he took over the Van Eerd Wholesale business in Veghel from his father, took over the Jumbo name from a local Tilburg retailer in 1983, and helped establish the chain as one of the Netherlands' most established grocers, through takeovers of rivals such as C1000, Konmar and Super de Boer.

Today, Jumbo boasts more than 700 stores, both in the Netherlands and neighbouring Belgium, across a variety of formulas – supermarkets, convenience stores, large-scale 'Jumbo Foodmarkts' and online. The family owned business celebrated its 100th anniversary last year.

'Rock-Solid Foundation'

In its statement, the van Eerd family said, “Karel, our dad, was a fantastic husband and father to us, a real family man. We will miss him immensely. Not only within the family, but also within our family business."

They added that his leadership provided Jumbo with a "rock-solid foundation", supported by his "entrepreneurship and passion" for the customer.

"He helped Jumbo grow into the second largest supermarket chain in the Netherlands. We are therefore grateful and proud that he was able to receive the Royal predicate from Jumbo Food Group himself last year. A fantastic recognition and crowning of his life's work”.

© 2022 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Stephen Wynne-Jones. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine.

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