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Mestdagh supermarkets call off partnership with Carrefour

13:48 02/01/2022

About 90 supermarkets in Wallonia and Brussels operating under the Carrefour Market could have to rebrand next year after the Mestdagh group, which owns the stores, ended its exclusive franchise partnership with Carrefour.

The two parties had signed a 10-year master franchise contract a few years ago. It was possible to give notice of termination after two years and this is what has now happened, a spokesperson for Carrefour Belgium confirmed.

A 12-month notice has period has begun - so Mestdagh will continue to operate these stores under the Carrefour Market throughout 2022 - and the two sides do not rule out a reestablishment of the partnership in the future.

Currently, nothing changes and neither Carrefour nor Mestdagh wanted to make predictions on the future of the 90 stores affected.

A Mestagh internal memo said: "Several options exist, including continuing trading under the Carrefour Market brand, but in order to be able to implement them, it was necessary to have free rein and act without delay.

“The current context, in particular the supply difficulties as well as the challenges of tomorrow's business, has made it necessary to carefully consider the future of the group.”

The last few months have been quite turbulent, with unions at Mestdagh criticising an excessive workload and calling strikes. Carrefour Belgium has also been affected by supply chain problems, especially for fresh food, after a strike by lorry drivers

This turnaround is accompanied by a change of chief executive at the head of Mestdagh. Fabienne Bryskère left her post on 23 December by mutual agreement and is replaced by Emmanuel Coria.

Photo: Virginie Lefour/Belga

Written by Richard Harris