OKay launches a 24/7 self-service store concept

OKay launches 24/7 self-service store concept

November 8, 2021

From tomorrow, OKay will test an ‘OKay Direct’ in the center of Ghent, an innovative store concept that allows customers to shop 24/7 thanks to the support of technology. With this pilot project, the retailer responds to the evolving needs of the customer, such as the importance of autonomy and freedom, as well as the focus on product quality. With this new shopping experience, OKay wishes to address a broader target than with traditional store formulas.

As a distribution group, Colruyt Group closely follows the societal development and consumer expectations. More autonomy, freedom and a focus on product quality are becoming more and more important. OKay wishes to meet these evolving needs with a new 24/7 store concept in which self-service plays a central role. “To keep to serve our customers optimally in the future, we are continuously study and develop innovative solutions that contribute to a simple, fast and easy shopping experience for customers“explains Gert Somers, city formats manager at OKay.

New shopping experience thanks to technology

From tomorrow 9 November, customers will be able to try out a new shopping experience at OKay Direct in the Belfortstraat in the center of Ghent. In this modern city store customers can shop 24/7 thanks to technology support developed by Smart Technics – the innovative start-up of Colruyt Group.

The customer can access the store by scanning the QR code of their app or Xtra card. With this QR code, the customer can open the doors of cabinets or refrigerators to take products. All purchases are recorded on the database product detection in shelves. Through scanning the QR code again at checkout the final invoice is made and the customer can pay electronically before leaving the store. In this way, the customer can manage the whole purchasing process by total autonomy and his own rhythm.

Balanced assortment, also for fresh products

On a surface of 150m² 650 references will be offered 24 hours a day in the new OKay Direct, both the A brands and the Boni and Everyday private label products. The important thing is the assortment of fees fruits and vegetables, as well as fresh meat, fish and bread, perfect for daily groceries. In addition, guests will also find ready-made meals and a number of “emergency” items such as toilet paper and toothpaste. The prices in this self-service store are in line with those of products at OKay Compact in the neighborhood. In this way, OKay fully fulfills its ‘fast, cheap and easy’ brand promise.

Added value for city customers

AGreat added value for customers is that they can do shopping in their neighborhood 24/7. In this way, we want to appeal to target groups who would benefit from a store with longer opening hours. I am thinking of students, of people whose work schedules are irregular or late such as healthcare workers, emergency services, etc., explains Gert Somers.

With this innovative pilot project, we will assess the feasibility, popularity and success of such an urban store format. We believe that interest in such concepts is on the rise and that they meet the evolving needs of customers. We will test the concept thoroughly before rolling it out on a larger scale in other major cities., concludes Gert Somers.

For questions, please contact Colruyt Group press office via [email protected] or 0473-92-45-10.

About Smart Technics

Smart Technics is an innovative start-up within Colruyt Group that lives by the motto: from inspiration to implementation. The team provides a wide range of services, ranging from engineering and project management to the design and implementation of technological solutions, both for the store environment and for logistics centers and operations. production.

About Colruyt Group

Colruyt Group operates in the food and non-food distribution sector in Belgium, France and Luxembourg with more than 600 owned stores and more than 580 affiliated stores. In Belgium, this includes Colruyt Meilleur Prix, OKay, Bio-Planet, Cru, Dreamland, Dreambaby, Bike Republic and the affiliated Spar and Spar Compact stores. In France, in addition to Colruyt stores, there are also affiliated stores Coccinelle, Coccimarket and Panier Sympa. The group is the majority shareholder of The Fashion Society, which brings together the fashion brands ZEB, PointCarré, The Fashion Store and ZEB For Stars. JIMS manages fitness clubs in Belgium and Luxembourg. Solucious and Culinoa deliver catering and retail products to professional customers in Belgium (hospitals, SMEs, hotels, etc.). Other activities include the supply of energy by DATS 24 in Belgium (fuels, natural gas and green energy) and in France (fuels), printing and document management solutions (Symeta Hybrid) and energy production green (Eoly). The group employs more than 32,000 people and recorded a turnover of 9.9 billion euros in 2020/21. Colruyt is listed on Euronext Brussels (COLR) under the number ISIN. BE0974256852.

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