Delhaize owns some 800 shops in Belgium as well as an additional couple of thousand abroad. It launched a campaign by offering people bicycle bags at reduced prices, and the supermarket’s stock of bags was exhausted in a few days. The supermarket chain also intends to seriously spruce up bike parking facilities. Employees are offered deals to purchase bicycles at reduced rates for commuting from home to work.
The Austrian Spar supermarket chain launched a similar initiative two years ago; all Spar branches were fitted with bicycle racks while electrical bikes were on sale for greatly reduced prices. Dutch research conducted by the Erasmus University in 2006 showed that 24% of Dutch consumers do their shopping by bike and 18% on foot; a good bike parking facility ranked as number 2 on a wish list of services desired by 74% of the consumers.