Auchan To Close Stores In Italy’s Campania Region
Auchan Retail Italia has announced that it is to close down its hypermarkets in Naples and in Catania, in the southern Italian region of Campania.
According to the French retailer, the store closures will take place during April and are due to economic factors.
In the case of the hypermarket in Naples, the company said that it had drawn up a preliminary agreement to sell the food business to a well-known local entrepreneur. This will guarantee continuity for a portion of the current staff, which will be taken on by the new operator.
Auchan Retail Italia said it is committed to limiting the social impact of the store closures, trying to identify the best solutions for each employee.
A series of initiatives is to be implemented to address this, and discussion will open with the trade union organisations for both stores.
After years of losses and despite the retailer’s efforts to relaunch the two stores, the situation of these two hypermarkets is no longer sustainable, the company said in a statement.
Commenting on the news, the general manager of Auchan Retail Italia, Américo Ribeiro, underlined that the company is aiming to consolidate its presence in Italy.
“At the moment a process of physical and digital transformation of our network is under way, with the convergence to a single banner and developing our brand strategy,” he added.
The regional secretary of workers union UILTuCS, Rodolfo Plesinger, claims that this is the first of a series of Auchan hypermarkets that will be sold.
Around 20 Auchan hypermarkets are said to be at risk throughout Italy, including another four hypermarkets in Nola, Giugliano, Mugnano and Pompei, with a total of 700 employees possibly affected.
Auchan Retail Italia operates in 19 Italian regions with a network of around 1,500 stores (of which over 350 are directly owned), including Auchan hypermarkets; Simply, IperSimply, PuntoSimply, Auchan and MyAuchan supermarkets; as well as over 60 Lillapois drugstores.
Auchan is not the only retailer reevaluating its activities in the hypermarket segment in Italy. Sales in this segment fell in value terms by 3.5% in January 2018 compared to the same month of 2017, according to Istat data (-1.1% in supermarkets).
© 2018 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Branislav Pekic. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine