Carrefour France has announced plans to lease 37 of its stores, including 16 hypermarkets, to third-party operators next year, with the retailer remaining the owner thereof.
The news was revealed by the CFDT union, following talks with the retailer’s management, according to the AFP news agency, as well as a number of other news websites.
Union members have protested the move, which is expected to affect nearly 4,000 employees, who will reportedly lose certain contract agreements with the change.
“We have reached the end of what employees can bear in terms of outsourcing,” Sylvain Macé, national secretary of the CFDT services federation, told AFP.
The changes involve 16 hypermarkets and 21 Carrefour Market stores, similar to the number of stores that were leased by the retailer in previous years.
The outsourcing process has been under way for a number of years, with 41 stores (16 supermarkets) leased to third-party operators in 2023, 43 stores (16 hypermarkets) in 2022, and 47 stores (ten hypermarkets) in 2021.
Carrefour management has stated that it is choosing to lease out hypermarkets that are losing money in order to avoid closing them altogether.
The French retailer argues that this process has been successful in turning around the performance of loss-making stores, due to the localised and agile management of the new operators.
Last week, Carrefour revealed third-quarter sales of €23.63 billion. This represented a like-for-like growth rate of 9%, which, while still positive, showed a slight deceleration from the second quarter’s 10.3% growth.
In Carrefour’s home market of France, which creates approximately 46% of the company’s revenue, hypermarket sales increased by 4.2% during the third quarter – a slower pace compared to the 6.6% rise observed in the previous three months.