bpost launches online grocery market in central Belgium
Belgium’s bpost has launched a new online grocery retail website where residents of Brussels and the Walloon Brabant province can buy goods from local merchants and have them delivered at home. The new platform www.combo.be has been launched following trials of a “bpost by appointment” service run in Sint-Niklaas and the eastern part of Walloon Brabant since 2012.
bpost said its pilots had shown it has the knowhow, the staff and the logistical structures to offer the home shopping delivery service on a commercial basis and on a larger scale.
The new combo.be service brings together local merchants, department stores and other online retailers within a single online shopping platform, where items can be ordered and delivered by bpost. Shoppers can buy products including fresh and frozen items.
bpost said it was extending the service to Halle-Vilvoorde area outside Brussels at the end of October so that 900,000 homes will have access. Further expansions to the rest of the country are expected in phases, as demand from retailers permits.
Koen Van Gerven, CEO of bpost, said the new service was a “great step forward” for bpost.
“Every weekday, bpost visits every letterbox and front door in the country. This extensive network enables us to offer our customers new services, with which bpost wishes to assure its future growth,” he said.
Retailers taking part in the new service include Cora, Carrefour (in Walloon Brabant), Huis Vanassche, La Boucherie, La Wetternoise, Viskraam (Étal de la Mer), Reason2be, Foubert, Jack O’ Shea, efarmz, Aquavital and Halles aux vins. bpost said more merchants will be added in due course.
As with the pilot services, bpost has priced delivery from the combo.be website at EUR 9.95 per delivery, with shoppers able to have up to 15 boxes or 150kg within a single delivery. Customers can pay when ordering their goods online, or when items are delivered.
Deliveries take place on weekdays during the evening, between 6pm and 8pm or 9pm in rural areas.
bpost said next-evening delivery is available for all orders placed before midnight.