Alavita is continuing its development with the opening of its fourth shop in Mersch, in the Topaze shopping centre, on Tuesday. “We were looking to expand outside Luxembourg City and we see that Mersch is a town that is very dynamic, with a growing population and easy access, these factors are promising,” said Anne Harles, owner and manager of the chain.
In 2018, she took over the first shop in Junglinster. This was followed by an opening in Bonnevoie the following year, then in Limpertsberg and finally the restaurant section with Alavita Kitchen.
In Mersch, the company has 300 m² of sales space, making this the largest store in its portfolio. On the shelves, 4,000 products are on offer, all of which are organically produced, with the exception of a few Luxembourg brands offered to customers. Six of Alavita's 45 employees work in the supermarket, which is opening in a popular retail area.
A strong organic accent
French store Grand Frais has just opened its second Luxembourg supermarket a few metres from Alavita, while Match has a supermarket in the Topaze shopping centre. In addition, there are Aldi, Colruyt and Lidl in the same shopping area, and Cactus is only two kilometres away.
“These are brands that do not operate in the same ranges as ours. Alavita is the first store in this area to offer a range that is almost entirely organic,” the manager insists. In Luxembourg, Naturata and Naturalia have a mainly organic range. Alavita intends to distinguish itself from its competitors with “a purely Luxembourgish identity and a dynamic, young spirit.”
Prices have risen less steeply in the organic sector than in the conventional sector.
In a context where record inflation is affecting purchasing power, organic references tend to be neglected by consumers, who are more attentive to spending. Studies have shown this in large markets such as France. But in Luxembourg, Harles says that: “prices have risen at a slower rate in the organic sector than in the conventional sector, probably because organic produce is much more regional and therefore requires less transport and energy.”
In the shops, the shopkeeper acknowledged that there has been a rather palpable negative effect on the more upmarket products, but not on the basic products. With four stores now, Alavita does not intend to strengthen its network in the immediate future. In the medium term, the brand should open up to online sales and says it is considering its implementation. Since the pandemic, it has offered a delivery service which, although less in demand now, has found its audience. There’s a sense of service that Harles also intends to capitalise on in order to stand out from competing brands.
This story was first published in French on Paperjam. It has been translated and edited for Delano.