On Wednesday morning, a long line of people was eager to be the first to enter the new Jumbo supermarket in Ostend. At 9 o’clock the supermarket was opened with many bells and whistles. It is the eighteenth Jumbo supermarket in the country and with its 2,000 square meters also the largest in terms of area.
According to director of Jumbo Belgium, Peter Isaac, the location was preceded by a major study. “Ostend is one of the larger cities in West Flanders”, Peter explains the choice for the seaside resort. “Ostend has potential: on the one hand, there are residents and tourists. Moreover, we are located here on a busy approach road, close to Gistel and Ichtegem. We didn’t have to think long to settle here.”
Store manager is Dave Houben. Dave is Dutch, but has been living in Veurne for five years. “We have a beautiful store where we show the strength of Jumbo,” says Dave. “A few weeks ago there were a few job days that attracted about 150 people. We noticed even then that there is huge interest in our store. In the end, sixty of them were offered a job. On average, about 35 people are working in the store every day.” (Read more below the photo)
And that interest appears not only to be present among the staff. An hour before opening, many customers were ready to be the first to enter Jumbo’s Ostend branch, loaded with their shopping cart. Among them Roger (69) and Nadine (64) from Eernegem. “We drove from Eernegem to Ostend especially to see the store and do our shopping here,” says Roger. “The Jumbo has everything we need and then it is easy to do all the shopping under one roof. We were already in the store in Zedelgem, but it is considerably smaller than this one.”
Busy approach road
The new supermarket is located along Torhoutsesteenweg, next to Maison Du Monde and Decathlon. The Torhoutsesteenweg is a busy approach road for those who want to enter Ostend from Gistel. Add to this the presence of the larger retail chains and the traffic jams are incalculable. It can be very busy, especially during peak hours. “I’m willing to pay the traffic jam for it,” says Christelle Plas (37) from Ostend. “Yes, sometimes you have to queue, but in the end you do your shopping or go shopping if you have the time. You don’t quickly come to do large errands in between.”
The store in Ostend is the eighteenth Jumbo store in our country. Jumbo wants to open thirty stores in Belgium by the end of the year.