Okay opens third Okay Direct in Ghent

Okay opens third Okay Direct in Ghent

Even easier thanks to modern technology and better layout

Monday, March 11, 2024

Two years after the launch of the very first Okay Direct on Belfortstraat and five months after a second opening on Keizer Leopoldstraat, Okay will be opening its third Okay Direct store in Ghent on Wednesday, 13 March: on Kortrijksepoortstraat, near Verlorenkost. The focus is on basic items, on-the-go products and quick meal solutions. This further expansion of Okay Direct is in line with Colruyt Group's ambition to increase its presence in city centres. With Okay Direct, the group has an innovative store concept that cleverly caters for 24/7 shopping, a form of flexibility that proves quite popular among urban customers. ​

“We are opening a third Okay Direct because we strongly believe in the concept and the supporting technology. The results of our first two Okay Direct stores are in line with expectations and the customers are also responding very positively to this innovative shop formula,” Gert Somers, in charge of Okay Direct, says. “To top things off, we won the Mercurius prize in 2022, the most prestigious retail award for more than 30 years. With this award, Comeos, the federation for retail and services in Belgium, recognises courage and innovation in the sector. A nice recognition for the hard work and resources we invest in this."

With this additional store right next to the recently opened Okay Compact, Okay Direct is targeting an audience that wants to shop even faster, and also outside regular opening hours and on Sundays. Customers can find everything they need in one single location, all day and all night: at Okay Compact from 7 a.m. to 7.30 p.m., with a wide range to choose from, and at Okay Direct any time of day.

Balanced product range

In the new Okay Direct, on a surface of 50 m², approximately 250 products are offered around the clock, including A brands and private labels. Customers can find everything they need for their daily groceries quickly and easily: a basic range of fresh produce, but also main-course salads, ready meals, desserts, beverages and several ‘emergency’ items, such as rubbish bags and toilet paper. Prices are in line with those of Ghent's other Okay Direct stores.

Added value for city customers

“A great bonus for customers is that they can shop locally for their groceries day and night. With this we aim to address target groups who benefit from a shop with longer opening times. For example, students and people with irregular hours or working late, such as people employed in healthcare or emergency services,” Gert Somers adds. “We are certain that the interest in such an approach will grow and that this also meets the evolving needs of customers. We are continuing to test the concept extensively, before rolling it out on a larger scale to other cities.”

Enhanced technology

Since the opening of the other two Okay Direct stores, Okay has continued to develop the technology. The new branch for instance has new-generation cabinets, designed by Colruyt Group Smart Technics and Innovend in the Netherlands, allowing customers to shop even faster and more easily. Also, the store layout has been optimised and the product range has been modified.

Okay Direct, a unique self-service store

Okay Direct is an innovative shop concept under the Okay banner where customer can buy groceries 24/7. With this concept, the retailer responds to evolving customer needs, such as the importance of autonomy and freedom combined with product quality.

Customers get access to the store by scanning the QR code on their Xtra app or card. Using this QR code the customer can open the doors of the (chiller) cabinets and take out products. All purchases are registered based on product detection in the shelves. By rescanning the QR code at the checkout, the receipt is generated and the customer can pay electronically before leaving the store. In this way, customers can shop entirely autonomously and at their own pace. Thus, Okay Direct offers an additional solution for quick and easy shopping.

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Colruyt Group press office
+32 (0)473 92 45 10 of +32 (0)2 363 55 45
Email: [email protected]

Practical information:
Okay Direct Ghent Kortrijksepoortstraat
​Kortrijksepoortstraat 82
​9000 Ghent