Monday, September 6, 2021
On Wednesday 14 July 2021, the province of Namur was hit hard by severe weather that caused the flash flooding of the Lomme and the Wamme rivers. The municipality of Rochefort found itself under water and the Spar Colruyt Group shop of independent entrepreneur François Brandt was not spared. "In the later afternoon on Wednesday 14 July, two associates from the Spar shops in Barvaux and Vielsalm came to help me place boards and sandbags in front of the doors in order to protect my shop. The water came in at around 2 or 3 a.m.. It reached a height of 1.40 metres", explains François Brandt. "We were able to gain access to the shop the following day at around 5 p.m.. A 10-metre long freezer had been completely lifted up. The floor and the ceiling were also affected and everything had to be renovated. While the fridges, freezers and furniture had to be disposed of, the local supermarket also suffered substantial losses of goods.
Renovation and reopening
For nearly two months, the Spar team in Rochefort has been working flat out to refurbish the shop and be able to receive customers again as quickly as possible. "In the days that followed, we benefited from the wave of solidarity that arose following the severe weather. With the help of a team of around 30 people made up of shop employees, associates and volunteers, it took us four days to clear up and empty the shop. Since everything had to be renovated, we took advantage of this to reorganise it in the style of the latest generation of Spar shops, which had in any case been planned in the next two or three years. Even though it took time for the different tradespeople to do their work, our supermarket now has a new look. The shop floor has been increased from 850 to 900 m2 with the aim of making it flow more easily and more pleasant. An emphasis has been placed on fresh products: we have expanded the selection and choice. Thanks to the very enthusiastic students and shop staff, we will be ready to reopen on 9 September."
Collaboration with Retail Partners Colruyt Group
It is by working side by side with colleagues from Retail Partners Colruyt Group that the Spar team in Rochefort succeeded in renovating the shop and being in a position to once again receive its customers just two months after the forced closure. "There was very effective collaboration with the Retail Partners Colruyt Group team. From the Monday following the floods, we got in touch to organise the response to the events. They completely changed their schedule and gave priority to the two shops that suffered damage: Standing together with La-Roche-en-Ardenne. The customers, who have been deprived of their local supermarket and forced to travel further to do their shopping are looking forward to seeing us again. We have done our utmost to present a brand new and beautiful shop that they will be even happier with." François Brandt and his team would like to convey their deep sympathy to the community and the district hit by the severe weather, and are happy to welcome you to their new shop from Thursday 9 September.