Delhaize Belgium has announced plans to bring all Delhaize stores in the country under one operating model.
As a result, the 128 self-managed supermarkets will operate as independent stores under the Delhaize brand.
Delhaize Belgium said the decision would not impact employment as all staff members would transfer to the new independent operators.
However, the decision will lead to a gradual reduction in the number of positions in the Delhaize head office, the retailer noted.
The move will not impact stores located in the Grand-Duchy of Luxembourg, the company noted.
Currently, the retailer has two store models in Belgium: an affiliated model with stores operated by independent operators, comprising 636 AD, Proxy, Shop & Go stores, and a model with self-managed supermarkets with 128 outlets.
'A Sustainable Future'
Xavier Piesvaux, CEO of Delhaize said, "We continue to believe in our strategy. Delhaize has had a strong position in the Belgian retail market for more than 155 years. We have the ambition to further strengthen this position.
"I fully understand that this announcement may cause emotions, but I am convinced that this growth plan is the only option to ensure a sustainable future for our company, our stores, our partners and our associates."
In recent years, stores operating under the affiliated format have seen a steady growth in market share, mainly due to local roots and flexibility in operations.
On the other hand, company-owned supermarkets witnessed a decline in profitability and market share over the same period despite several initiatives and investments implemented by the company.
Wouter Kolk, CEO of Ahold Delhaize Europe and Indonesia, added, "By having the 128 local stores operated by local entrepreneurs in the future, they will have a better opportunity to respond to local conditions.”
© 2023 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Dayeeta Das. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: European Supermarket Magazine.