Carrefour Italia has announced a 'relaunch plan' to return to profitability and boost growth by consolidating the franchise model, according to media reports.
The plan foresees a rapid expansion and conversion of certain stores from directly owned to franchise, with no impact on the employment of transferred employees.
Elsewhere, the retailer aims to improve the competitiveness of its directly owned hypermarkets and supermarkets in the country by upgrading store concepts and assortments, simplifying internal processes and optimising productivity.
The company will also refocus its organisational model for stores and customers following the simplification of processes, digitalisation and a leaner head office organisation. This plan is likely to impact around 600 positions in stores and about 170 employees in its head office in Milan.
Carrefour Italia will activate a social plan on an exclusively voluntary basis that will provide staff training to facilitate the internal and external relocation, programmes to support entrepreneurship and incentives to leave.
Structural Changes In Retail Environment
The retailer claims that the plan is necessary in response to the structural changes in the retail environment, including the evolution towards digital and process automation, and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on consumers.
However, the workers union claims that the redundancies could reach 1,800, reports daily Corriere della Sera.
The union’s assistant secretary general, Paolo Andreani, warns that after the crisis of the group’s hypermarkets, there is now a question market over the Express and Market formats, as some of the best performing stores will be sold.
According to the union, Carrefour’s plan foresees the sale of 106 supermarkets and mini markets to local entrepreneurs during 2022, including 41 in Lombardy, 18 in Campania, 17 in Liguria, 16 in Lazio, six in Tuscany, four in Emilia Romagna, three in Piedmont and one in Abruzzo.
Carrefour has a multi-channel presence in Italy. It operates more than 1,400 outlets in various formats such as hypermarkets, supermarkets, superettes, and Cash&Carry.