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Belgium: Non-Food Discounter Wibra stores reopen with a refreshed store concept

Updated: Oct 29, 2020

Discount Non-Food Retail Chain Wibra (family owned) reopens all its 36 Wibra stores in Belgium. The cleaning category with the cult private label brand 'Dasty' has a starring role, and the retailer also has plans online.

Growing again physically and online

Last weekend, 12 Wibra stores opened their doors again, later this week the other of the 36 locations with which the non-food discounter in Belgium are relaunched. All shops were thoroughly refurbished and now have a uniform shop layout so that they are clearly recognizable as Wibra for the shopper. The shops have a fresher and sleeker style and are divided into clear "worlds": the mommy world, the baby world, the cleaning world… with beautiful back walls so that the shopper can orient himself more easily. “We will further optimize this in the coming weeks, this is what we were able to do for 36 stores in two weeks,” spokesman Maarten Hagg told Belgium retail newsplatform RetailDetail.

Wibra had already adjusted the range before, as part of a broader strategic exercise, in which the retailer wants to better meet the changed needs of the customers. The company responds more closely to the seasons and now also makes more use of social media such as Facebook and Instagram. A lot of attention is paid to the cleaning world with the success private label brand 'Dasty'. “The cleaning line has grown considerably in recent years, we now want to place them more firmly in the shops. Dasty is a real magnet for our customers. In recent weeks, when our Belgian stores were closed, we have seen that many Dutch Wibra stores were overrun by Flemish customers looking for these products. ”

The relaunch of Wibra in Belgium means also the start of a new growth story, says Hagg: “We first want to get those 36 stores profitable again as quickly as possible. The first signs are positive, we are getting enthusiastic reactions from customers, so we hope to get that done in a few months. Then we can look further at growth, that is certainly the ambition. ” The strategy will be twofold, the spokesperson said: both online and with physical stores. “We strongly believe in physical stores, but we also want to grow digitally. In the Netherlands, Wibra opened an online b2b shop for Dasty in May. We also want to roll them out to Belgium. That will be the start of an online strategy that we will further develop in both the Netherlands and Belgium. ”

For “fashion bargain hunters”

We put it to the test in the Wibra store in Laken (Belgium). The truck in front of the door has only one brand: Dasty. The sales cannot be kept up, district manager Carine Reynders confirms. "We have placed four pallets here and they are flying out the door." Dasty is the star of the store: the brand has a prominent presence next to the other cleaning products on the back wall, clearly visible from the entrance.

The shopping route is now the same in all shops. It used to be different: then the shape of the building often determined the way in which the products were placed. “Now we have really chosen to work with a fixed plan for each store. This is just a start as we wanted to be able to reopen as soon as possible, but we will continue to build on this story. In the Netherlands there are already several Wibra stores that are further ahead in this area. They look really handsome. ”

It is not a break in style, but Wibra wants to modernize and offer more trendy ranges, in categories such as home decoration or cooking and baking, for example. "In addition to our traditional budget shopper, we would like to appeal to the 'fashionable bargain hunter'." In any case, the store looks a lot clearer than before. The ranges are now on the shelves according to a clear logic. “In the past, clothing for children, women and men was often mixed up. Now we have separate worlds for baby, girls, boys, men and women. We have brought the leisure range to the fore in the stores, as well as the seasonal assortments, at the moment that is of course Christmas.

Carine Reynders is enthusiastic: “We reopened the first 12 stores a bit tacitly on Saturday, because we did not want to create dangerous situations during these Corona times. But we have already received a lot of people and the reactions have been very positive. ”

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