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Supermarket chain launches cycling campaign (Belgium)

By Sarah Martens / Updated: 01 Aug 2014
One of Belgium’s largest supermarket chains, Delhaize, has launched a national campaign to get more people cycling to shops. Dr. Randy Rzewnicki of the European Cyclists’ Federation explains why other European supermarkets should follow in its footsteps.
The supermarket chain Delhaize, with some 800 supermarkets in Belgium, wants to see more people travelling to their stores by bike. It is a major international company and has another 2,000 shops across 6 countries and 3 continents.

To kick-start its Belgian campaign in September, Delhaize announced it is offering high quality, Ortlieb bike bags in its shops at a discount price. In many stores, the bags were sold out in a matter of days. The bags are part of a bigger bicycle/retailer synergy. Belgian cycling user groups GRACQ and Fietsersbond are advising Delhaize on issues of quality that are important to cyclists.

One of the big changes is that Delhaize plans to install new cycle parking installations and to improve existing ones, on the basis of the cyclists’ advice and recommendations. Fifteen Delhaize shops will see new cycle parking in 2012, and many more are planned for next year and thereafter.

In its bid to be more bicycle friendly, Delhaize is offering 500 bikes and e-bikes to employees and a cash incentive for employees who cycle to work (in Belgium this payment is tax free up to 21 cents per kilometre.)

Dr. Randy Rzewnicki, the European Cyclists’ Federation’s Health Officer and Project Manager for CycleLogistics, is excited about the quality of cycle parking that Delhaize will install. “This will be an important upgrade for cyclists, as poor quality bicycle parking discourages people from cycling,” says Dr. Rzewnicki. “Many shoppers forget that almost 95% of supermarket customers could bring home their shopping on a bike. Sometimes you might just need a trailer or a cargo bike – but that’s only about 15% of the customers. Just imagine if three quarters of all the customers in your local shop came by bike. This would be great and one of the goals my project is working towards.”

Source: European Cyclists’ Federation
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