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Some products twice as expensive in Belgium as in France: the boss of the Federation of Commerce confirms and explains why

  • Post category:Economy News
  • Reading time:3 mins read

We compared the prices of certain products in supermarkets in France and Belgium (see the article here). Cash receipt in support, the races cost twice as much with us as with our neighbors. Dominique Michel, Managing Director of Comeos, the Federation of Commerce and Services, sheds light on the reasons behind these disparities.

How to explain this price difference? An expert said yesterday that packaging had to be translated into three languages. There must be other reasons…

There is no price difference on all products. You have taken what is comparable, that is to say the prices of international brands. On the other hand, on fruits and vegetables, there is no possible comparison and we know that we are at the same price, or even cheaper. Similarly, on distributors’ own brands, we are also cheaper.

The price differential found on major international brands is due to several factors: wage differences. A cashier in Belgium will earn the same as in the Netherlands but she will cost 25 to 30% more and this is obviously reflected in the consumer’s bill. Then there are taxes in Belgium that do not exist in France. There are special taxes on packaging which literally bring hundreds of millions of euros to the State, this is not reflected in the receipt in France, so the French consumer pays less.

And then third, big international brands charge different prices depending on the country where those brands operate. And unfortunately, Belgium is still a victim of this pricing policy, ie our stores have to pay more than the same store in France or the Netherlands for the same branded product.

There are chain stores that exist in France and in Belgium, in the Netherlands and in Belgium. Can we benefit from the general prices of other countries?

No, there really is a partitioning of the markets by the big international brands which impose different prices, depending on whether you are in Belgium, Spain or France. This is a question that has been analyzed for many years and which still has not had an answer. But today, these are discussions by country. The same chain will have different prices for Belgium and France, and unfortunately almost always to the disadvantage of the Belgian consumer.