The Heist district of Wekworst has had its own supermarket since Thursday. At Spar Wiekworst, customers will find a wide product range in a modern shop building. The reception for fellow villagers and suppliers on Wednesday evening was a success, as was the official opening on Thursday. “The customers are very happy that they have a full store in their neighborhood,” says co-manager Lorenzo Callens.
christophe van rompe
“While the local traders in the food sector are slowly disappearing, there was no alternative in the village,” says Lorenzo Callens. “VKvorst really longed for a full store. We took care of the former industrial building of the construction company Van Crane. Everything was stripped down to the skeleton and a piece was added. The retail area is now 750 square meters. Without that extension, it would have been 500 square metres. We found it a little too small to comfortably provide all the products to our customers.”
The store is furnished as per the most modern SPAR concept. Fresh supply is an important driver in this regard. “During construction, sustainability was definitely taken into account as well,” says Callens. “For a moment we thought of a false ceiling to save energy, but then the store would have lost its charm. We wanted to keep a view of the nine meter high ceiling, so we found another way to push the heat down again, so that we don’t lose energy anymore.
There is no shortage of experience in managing a new supermarket. Wiekvorstse Spar is owned by three business managers, with Steven Stoughton and Tim Anthonys at the helm in addition to Callens. For the latter two years running Spar stores in Kessel, Shrike and Lier. Wickworst only has three managers. “Of course we can move around a bit, but my main job now is at Wiekworst anyway,” says Callens.
Twelve employees are currently working in the new store. “Some of them come from other stores, but most of them are newcomers to Wiekworst and the surrounding area,” says Callens. The supermarket hasn’t yet suffered from teething problems. “It mainly comes down to predicting when the busiest shopping moments will be.”
There was a lot of interest among people regarding the opening on Thursday morning. “The first customers were already at the door well before opening time. This proves that Wiekvorsteineren are really keen to have their own supermarket,” says Callens. “We plan to open the promotion for over a week. Today, customers can try and buy 1+1 free homemade pizza. So there will be more such actions in the days to come.”
The New Spar is open seven days a week. On Monday you can go there from 13 to 19. The store is open Tuesday through Friday from 8am to 7pm and on Saturdays from 8am to 6pm. “On Sundays we start a little earlier and you can come to us from 7.30am to 12 noon,” says Callens. “That way everyone can start the day with fresh pizza, charcuterie, and a piece of fresh fruit.”