Mestdagh supermarket locations to reopen under Intermarché name

Mestdagh supermarket locations to reopen under Intermarché name
Protest action by Mestdagh workers in front of the Intermarché depot in Villers-le-Bouillet and in front of the Mestdagh head office in Gosselies, on Tuesday 18 October 2022. Credit: Laurent Cavenati / Belga

From Wednesday, all Carrefour branding will disappear from stores owned by Belgian supermarket master franchise group Mestdagh, following a decision to transfer shares of the company to French supermarket giant Intermarché, La Libre Belgique reports.

Since Monday, the stores have been closed, as staff busily transformed the stores, removing Carrefour brand products and stocking shelves with Intermarché goods. Formerly, Mestdagh locations, of which there are 86 nationally, were open under the “Carrefour Market by Mestdagh” name. Now, this name will be replaced by “Intermarché by Mestdagh.”

In the space of two days, the franchiser has set out to replace all the supermarket chain’s signage, as well as transfer equipment such as branded trolleys, checkout systems, answering machines, intercoms, and others.

The doors of the Mestdagh location will reopen on 4 January to fanfare. Some supermarket teams, faster than others, already opened the doors of their locations on Tuesday.

The Mestdagh franchise contract with Carrefour officially ended on 31 December, with Internarmché owner Groupement Les Mousquetaires taking over from 1 December.

From today, the Mestdagh SA group, first launched in 1900, will pass outside of the hands of the Mestdagh family, who have controlled the company for more than 120 years.

Some unions are concerned about the change in ownership of the Mestdagh location. Despite passing the Belgian competition authority’s inspection, unions complained that they were not well informed of the major changes to Mestdagh’s operation.

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Others have expressed concerns about the new boss of Mestdagh, former director Guillaume Beuscart, who was once dubbed the “service killer”. He is said to meet with employees on 9 January during an extraordinary meeting to set out his vision for the new company. The company has assured that, while the shareholders may have changed, other elements, including salary, will remain unchanged.

In Wallonia and Brussels, Intermarché controls an impressive share of the market. With the franchise agreement with the Mestdagh locations, Intermarché now controls 163 stores and more than 225,000 metres squared of retail space nationally. The combined turnover of the company is equal to €1.4 billion and occupies a 12.4% market share in Wallonia and Brussels.

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