Wednesday, May 25, 2022 After nearly 50 years, Colruyt is simplifying its price display to respond to customers' increased focus on price and to support its ambition to make customers' lives easier. Colruyt makes it very simple: all prices - including reactions to competitors' prices and promotions - are and will remain the lowest and are shown in black on the price label. All Colruyt's own promotions on top of these lowest prices are recognisable by their red colour. To ensure the lowest prices, Colruyt continues to focus on the lowest costs, as the retailer always delivers on its lowest prices promise.
Colruyt Lowest Prices is simplifying how it displays its well-known lowest prices.
Chris Van Wettere, General Manager of Colruyt Lowest Prices: "In recent months we've noticed that our customers are increasingly price-conscious. Today's context has an impact on our customers' wallets, and this is something that we at Colruyt feel deserves our full attention. That's why we're making it even easier for our customers to identify the lowest prices, as this is more necessary today than ever before."
Specifically, the simplification implies that the colours used for the prices will be adapted in the stores, folders and other channels. Chris Van Wettere: "We make it very simple for our customers: every day the lowest prices, black on white. And to make sure our customers do not miss our promotions, we display these in red. At Colruyt, you thus find all the lowest prices and promotions under one roof, and that will never change."
Nearly 50 years of lowest prices
With this change, Colruyt Lowest Prices is making a very clear commitment: to guarantee the lowest prices for every product at every moment. This is the promise that it makes to Colruyt customers and is indicated on the facade of every store.
The story of Colruyt's lowest prices started nearly 50 years ago. "We launched our lowest prices promise in 1973 when we decided to set ourselves apart from our competitors by offering the lowest prices. That meant that we had to watch every penny", Chris Van Wettere explains.
This cost awareness is still deeply ingrained in Colruyt today. The retailer keeps costs low to be able to offer the lowest prices to its customers. Chris Van Wettere: "At Colruyt, we achieve the lowest costs by investing in efficient processes, such as an optimum supply chain, and by making economical use of resources: money not spent is money that doesn't have to be saved." At Colruyt, there are many examples that illustrate the retailer's commitment to the economical use of resources: a sober and sustainable store design, energy-efficient chest-type freezers, trucks that are capable of transporting dry and refrigerated products at the same time and are filled up to 96 % on average, and trolleys without coin-operated locks, which represents a saving of 14 euros per trolley.
Another important aspect of Colruyt's lowest prices is that the purchasing policy and the sales policy are completely separate from one another. Chris Van Wettere:“Our products' purchase prices are always entirely independent of their sales prices. We negotiate the purchase price with our suppliers, thereby ensuring that these negotiations proceed in a constructive manner. Our products' sales prices are determined by the market. At Colruyt, we guarantee our customers the lowest prices. To achieve this, we monitor our competitors' prices and promotions, which determines the price of the products in the stores."
62,000 prices every day
Chris Van Wettere: "Colruyt is a price follower rather than a price fixer. In other words, we keep track of our competitors' prices and promotions and adjust where needed to guarantee the lowest prices. To achieve this, we need a high-performance system and a strong team of price experts."
This is why Colruyt set up a 'price secretariat' in 1973, currently called the Service Centre Price. "We record prices both offline and online. In this way, we guarantee the lowest prices in our Colruyt stores and on our webshop, via Collect&Go. Our team of 120 co-workers records 62,000 prices every day", Chris Van Wettere says.
Product prices differ from Colruyt store to Colruyt store, as the retailer follows national prices and promotions as well as the prices and promotions of local competitors. In this way, customers are sure to find the lowest prices in the area of their Colruyt store, marked in black. The Red Telephone remains in place, allowing customers to report lower prices or more competitive promotions found in the market. That makes the system watertight.