Carrefour Italia has confirmed to unions that it is to close 106 directly-owned stores, comprising 82 Carrefour Express and 24 Carrefour Market stores, according to media reports.
The retailer has also formalised the procedure that will see around 769 redundancies across nine regions of Italy as part of its 2022 Business Plan.
The most affected regions will be Lombardy, with 300 redundancies and Lazio with around 100.
According to daily Corriere della Sera, Carrefour Italia took the decision after a decline in turnover and customers and increasing labour costs. The retailer stressed that the changes will enable it to breakeven in 2022.
The retailer claims that a 'situation of serious imbalance has been created, that is no longer sustainable and forces the company to take structural action to rebalance the ratio between staff and turnover', according to the report.
In October, reports emerged of Carrefour’s plan to sell 106 supermarkets and mini markets to local entrepreneurs during 2022.
Carrefour Italia has provided assurances to unions that the redundancy plan will be on an exclusively voluntary basis, adding that the changes are necessary to reach breakeven point in 2022.
The company pointed out that the recovery plan 'confirms the company's desire to stay and continue to invest in Italy, with the aim of returning to profitability and a lasting and sustainable growth'.
In turn, unions have urged Carrefour Italia to come up with a detailed investment plan in the network that, they claim, 'has, in many cases, structural defects that make the points of sale less usable and often end up driving customers away from the brand'.
The unions also requested a new focus on hypermarkets, which 'play a significant role' in Carrefour’s business strategy in Italy, also in terms of employment, and that 'needs to be relaunched if Carrefour wants to remain in our country'.
Carrefour Italia has over 16,000 employees in 18 regions and operates 1,450 stores in the country.
© 2021 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.