Collect&Go and OKay test new service in the sharing economy sector

Collect&Go, Colruyt Group’s online shopping service, has teamed up with neighbourhood supermarket OKay to launch a new ‘Collect&Go Connect’ service. Collect&Go Connect is a platform that connects people, helping them go shopping for each other. This new service starts today and will be tested in seven OKay and OKay Compact stores in Ghent and West Flanders over a six-month period. Collect&Go Connect is Colruyt Group's first initiative in the sharing economy, and complements Collect&Go's existing service.

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

‘Collect&Go Connect’ helps customers go shopping for each other in 7 test stores in Ghent and West Flanders

Collect&Go Connect is an online platform that creates a shopping community. It is currently on a 6-month test run in 7 OKay and OKay Compact stores in Ghent and West Flanders. "With this platform, we want to connect 2 groups of people: those who would like some help with their shopping and those who want to earn a bit extra by doing some shopping for other people in their neighbourhood", explains Tom De Prater, who is responsible for Collect&Go. “We think that this is an interesting alternative formula for families with children, people who are (temporarily) less mobile or busy people who simply don’t always have time to do shopping, etc.”

OKay is the ideal partner

Collect&Go Connect is specifically aimed at the smaller shopping baskets, which makes OKay the logical partner. The neighbourhood supermarket has stood for fast, inexpensive and convenient shopping for many years. Tom De Prater: "We believe that this service will be very useful for people who need some extra shopping during the week, from fruit and vegetables to bread and meat, but don’t have the time or opportunity to go to the shop. At the moment, people don’t immediately think of Collect&Go for these types of top-up shopping trips. Our new Collect&Go Connect service can offer a solution for this.”

A service such as Collect&Go Connect works on a sense of community but also encourages the creation of a social network in the neighbourhood. “At OKay we are strongly committed to strengthening local roots and with this platform we really want to achieve a positive impact by connecting people from the neighbourhood with each other", says Fabrice Gobbato, managing director of OKay. "Every neighbourhood is different.That's why we're testing it out at different locations: in the centre of Ghent, in the suburbs and in town centres." There are four stores in Ghent (Krommewal, Sint-Pietersnieuwstraat, Voskenslaan and Heusden) and three stores in West Flanders (Zwevegem, Vichte and Oedelem).

 How does the shopping platform work?

Using the new Collect&Go Connect app (available to download for free in the App Store and via Google Play), customers can put together a shopping list from a selection of the OKay and OKay Compact range.  They then indicate the day and time they would like their shopping delivered to their home and what fee they would be willing to pay. Shoppers can also register in the app and specify the radius within which they are happy to do shopping. Shoppers will only be shown those shopping baskets that meet these specifications. They can then decide which shopping baskets they are willing to accept, taking into account their availability and the fee they would like to receive. Making and receiving payments is easy via the Collect&Go Connect platform, which is recognised within the sharing economy.

Complementary to existing services

The more than 200 collection points of Collect&Go are still the main focus of Colruyt Group's online shopping service. But as part of the slogan 'Making shopping easy', Collect&Go also wants to develop other services that can make life easier for its customers. "We recently extended our trial for home deliveries in the Brussels Periphery. We are also looking at how we can reach people in the city even more easily. This new service fits perfectly with that," explains Tom De Prater. With this service, Collect&Go hopes to attract new customers and provide an even better service to existing customers. “We are testing with OKay and OKay Compact, but this could be expanded over time. That's exactly why a test period and customer feedback is so important to us", concludes Tom De Prater. 

About OKay

OKay is Colruyt Group’s local supermarket format. Customers can find everything they need there. OKay stores are set up near town or city centres and guarantee the lowest prices in the neighbourhood. OKay opened its very first store on 14 January 1998 in Ertvelde and has since then been opening an average of 7 new stores every year. They intend to keep up this frequency in the years to come. Today, OKay has about 130 stores in Belgium and intends to open a total of 180 stores. Since November 2015, the chain also has its own distribution centre at the industrial estate of Lot (Beersel) in Flemish Brabant. OKay currently employs more than 2,000 co-workers.

About OKay Compact

OKay Compact is the urban concept of the OKay supermarket chain. Traditional OKay supermarkets are located along busy access roads or close to town centres, whereas OKay Compact convenience stores are located in city centres. With an average surface area of 350 m², the OKay Compact stores are smaller than traditional OKay supermarkets. The range is slightly more limited, although there are more on-the-go products, such as coffee, chilled drinks and hot snacks. At OKay Compact there are merely shopping baskets, (no trolleys), in order to make shopping as fast and efficient as possible. OKay Compact now has 9 stores in Antwerp, Brussels, Ghent and Liège, and customer reactions have been very positive. The OKay supermarket chain already has around 130 supermarkets and sees potential for 180 supermarkets in the long run.