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Jean-Pierre Grimmeau


A forgotten anniversary: the first European hypermarkets open in Brussels in 1961

Hypermarkets are self-service shops with a surface area of more than 2,500m², which sell food and non food products, are located on the outskirts of a city, are easily accessible and have a large car park. They are generally considered to have been invented in France in 1963 (Carrefour in Sainte-Geneviève-des-Bois, close to Paris, 2,500m²). But nearly two years earlier, in 1961, GB had opened three hypermarkets under the name of SuperBazar, in Bruges, Auderghem and Anderlecht, measuring between 3,300 and 9,100m². Through an examination of the literature, an exploration of GIB archives and the stories of stakeholders in the Belgian distribution sector, the article compares in detail the history of the first Belgia ...