The Mestdagh group, which operates around 90 Carrefour Market shops mainly in Brussels and Wallonia, is ending its exclusive partnership with Carrefour. The split will follow a one-year notice, Belga News Agency reports, meaning its effects will only be felt after 2022.
The master franchise contract was signed between the two parties a few years ago, for a period of ten years. Mestdagh was given two years to change its mind and terminate the agreement, and has now done so, a spokesperson for Carrefour Belgium confirmed.
Nothing will change in 2022, but beyond that, the future of the shops involved remains uncertain although several options are on the table, including a new partnership.
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“There are several options, including a continuation under the Carrefour Market brand name, but in order to implement this it was necessary to have our hands free and to act quickly,” an internal communication from Mestdagh reads.
“In the current context, in particular because of the supply problems and the challenges for the sector in the future, it was necessary to carry out an in-depth analysis on the future of the group.”
Internal restructuring and pressure on staff
According to RetailDetail, the decision follows a change at the top of the Mestdagh group. CEO Fabienne Bryskère left “by mutual agreement” on 23 December, and has been replaced by Emmanuel Coria, who led the group until March 2020.
Carrefour has been struggling in recent months with unhappy employees and supply issues resulting in empty shelves for weeks, with strikes in some places. Unions cite too high of a workload.