Belgium: proximity is winning in retail
According to a recent GfK market study for VLAM, hard discounters and independent proximity stores are the channels that have gained the most market share in Belgium’s grocery retail since the outbreak of the pandemic. Public (street) markets have also grown to some extent. Conventional retail (hypermarkets and supermarkets) held a 52.9% share of the country’s food retail market in 2021, down from 55.3% in 2020 and 57% in 2019. Meanwhile, the share of hard discounters rose from 21% in 2019 to 23% in 2021.
Public markets becoming more popular
Public markets regained some of their lost market customers in 2021, with their market share rising from 3.0% in 2020 to 4.7% in 2021, after being at around 5% in 2016. Fruit grocers, e-commerce and direct-from-farm remain marginal channels (each at 3% or below), with online sales the only one of these to make progress.