The Unions are “calm” about Galeria Inno being sold to the Canadian group Hudson’s Bay. During a special Company Council meeting on Monday morning, the management told employee representatives that the sale will not affect jobs. The Unions say neither the name nor the brand will change this year. “The brand is doing well in Belgium, so there is no need to panic given the current situation”, says Miriam Delmée, General Secretary of SETCa. “There has been a bit of restructuring over the last few years, bringing the number of employees to an all-time low. Stores cannot function with less staff”, explains Xavier Muls, permanent secretary of the CGSLB. Which means there is no need for concern right now, he adds.
During a Company Council meeting, the Unions learned Belgium represents 2% of Hudson’s Bay’s global market. It owns the big New York store Saks Fifth Avenue. “Their stores are similar to the Inno, and the group is good at e-commerce”, says Xavier Muls. He does not know whether Hudson’s Bay will continue to develop Belgian stores, or concentrate on online selling. “They have assured us that jobs will be protected, and the relationship with our social partners will not change”, says Jalil Bourhidane, permanent Trade CNE for the Inno. “We are waiting to meet the new management team and are keeping an eye on employment in Belgium”. The Unions say between 1,500 and 2,000 people work for Galeria Inno.
On Monday, the German distribution giant Metro announced it is selling its big Kaufhof stores to the Canadian group Hudson’s Bay, for 2,825 billion euros. Hudson’s Bay will get the 106 large Galeria Kaufhof stores located in Germany, 16 Sportarena sports shops, and 16 large stores in Belgium when it buys Galeria Inno.
Maria Novak (Source: Belga)