Delhaize announces buyers for another 19 shops

Supermarket chain Delhaize's management has announced a third batch of shops to be transferred to independent operators. Nineteen shops will be transferred, bringing the total to 51 out of 128.

Nine of the acquirers already own one or more Delhaize stores, five are former employees of the chain and five are new. As a result of these acquisitions, 40 per cent of the supermarkets until recently owned by Delhaize have independent owners. According to the company, "the phased acquisition plan is on track". Further announcements will be made in the coming months.

The shops for which there is an acquirer are in Ekeren, Blankenberge, Wondelgem, Ghent (Watersport), Aalst, Oudenaarde, Alsemberg, Boechout, Kraainem, Wezenbeek, Geel, Jette (Théodor), Jette (Charles Woeste), Ottignies, Ixelles (Molière), Louvain-la-Neuve, Sambreville (Falisolle), Montigny and Liège (Burenville).

10-week transition

The transition from an in-house Delhaize supermarket to an independent store takes an average of 10 weeks. It remains to be seen whether staff will accept the takeovers. The news is again causing discontent, with staff at the Théodor store in Jette walking off the job after the takeovers were announced.

Last week, Delhaize announced that it was going ahead with the franchising of all its supermarkets, even without a social agreement with the unions. Labour market expert Marc De Vos told Trends that a tipping point had been reached. "A point has apparently been reached where Delhaize considers the impact of the unions to be less threatening than the consequences of hopeless negotiations and further procrastination," he said.


The management of Delhaize announced in March that the supermarket chain would privatise all its remaining stores. Despite the help of a social mediator, management and unions failed to reach an agreement. Fearing a deterioration in working conditions, the unions regularly take action by blocking shops and distribution centres. Meanwhile, Delhaize continues to look for new buyers for its 128 stores.



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