The paper explores the role of convenient shopping in establishing a sense of comfort for Europeans in a colonial environment. So far, there has been little investigation into how Belgian retailers tried to gain a firm foothold in the Congo, how they presented themselves and promoted their wares. This paper examines the activities of the colonial department of Delhaize Frères & Cie ‘Le Lion’, Belgium's first and largest food multiple. It examines how this large grocery chain tried to establish itself in the Congo, what motivations it had to extend its business to the colony, what audience it wished to reach, what products and services it had to offer and what sales and marketing strategies were used. It appears that convenient shopping was one of the key selling points Delhaize's advertising, while also characterising its products as indispensable for Europeans' comfort, moral respectability and homely warmth in a so-called primitive, backward environment.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13-20
Publication statusPublished - 2015

    Research areas

  • food retailing, the Belgian Congo, convenience shopping, advertising, retail history, Food Studies

ID: 14241011