COMPANIES & STRATEGIES - RETAIL

Grand-Rue shops

The Belgian Chocolate House shuts down



The Belgian Chocolate House sells chocolates, biscuits and confectionery from many Belgian brands.  (Photo: Paperjam)

The Belgian Chocolate House sells chocolates, biscuits and confectionery from many Belgian brands.  (Photo: Paperjam)

The multi-brand Belgian chocolate, biscuit and confectionery shop, a member of the Lagardère group, will close at the end of the day on 24 December, Paperjam has learned.

The Belgian Chocolate House will soon withdraw from the Grand-Rue, where it occupies a unit located a stone's throw from the entrance of Fnac and Galeries Lafayette.

The shelves have become less and less stocked with chocolates, confectionery and biscuits in recent days. An employee of the Lagardère group confirmed to Paperjam that the store will close at the end of the day on 24 December, without offering any further explanation.

The Belgian Chocolate House is a multi-brand shop that offers chocolates from Neuhaus, Godiva, Corné Port-Royal, Galler, Mary, Café-Tasse and Pierre Marcolini. As for biscuits and confectionery, gourmets can find sweets from the Brussels-based Dandoy and Jules Destrooper.

The brand currently has nine points of sale in the Belux area, In addition to the shop in Luxembourg it has two locations at the Brussels-Midi train station and five points of sale at the Brussels-Zaventem airport.

On its website, The Belgian Chocolate House even claims to be "the world's largest chocolate sales outlet" at Brussels airport, with 1.63kg sold per minute 24/7. Obviously, the Covid-19 pandemic has affected the frequentation of these outlets dedicated to travellers.

Closely linked to tourism

Behind the Luxembourg outlet is the Lagardère Travel Retail Luxembourg Group, a company registered in 2014 in Gasperich, whose latest published balance sheet shows a result for 2019 of €8.3m, a decrease of 24%.

This subsidiary of Lagardère Travel Retail employs nine people and holds shares in three companies of the French giant, namely Lagardère Travel Retail Belgium, International Duty Free Netherlands and The Belgian Chocolate Network.

Lagardère Travel Retail has forecast worldwide sales of €2.3bn for 2020 (down 46%) for its brands active in travel, fashion and duty free, as well as restaurants. What do they have in common? They are located in railway stations, airports and metro stations. In Luxembourg, the group is present via the Aelia Duty Free brand, located at LuxAirport.

The company did not respond to Delano’s sister publication Paperjam’s requests for official comment, citing the impact of the coronavirus.

This story was first published in French on Paperjam. It has been translated and edited for Delano.