Even if in the future the price difference between Belgium and the neighboring countries were once again to narrow, our country would still be more expensive in spite of everything because of the operation costs. “With the regions, with the languages etc, it is very complicated to manage a store base in Belgium, so it will always be more expensive“, analyzes Pierre-Alexandre Billiet, expert in marketing. He evaluates “the structural additional cost” in Belgium at 5 to 7%.
Firstly there is the narrowness of the country. “This means that we have lower purchasing volumes than France. A Colruyt or even a Carrefour Belgium which buys from Coca-Cola will simply pay more than a Carrefour France which buys larger volumes. “explains Pierre-Alexandre Billiet.
Furthermore linguistic complexity Belgian. Product labeling is in three languages. “It is not necessarily the cost of the label that makes the difference, but in this way the market isolates itself”, continues Pierre-Alexandre Billiet. The country is isolated because no other neighboring country applies these three languages simultaneously. “An isolated country will always have higher prices because this political-linguistic regional complexity is also a business opportunity for suppliers to charge different, often higher prices“adds the marketing expert.
Another reason for the higher prices in Belgium, the cost of labor. According to Gondola, for a comparable job, the salary cost is 21% lower in the Netherlands. In France, the difference would be a little less, but still around 13 to 15%.