© BERT DE DEKEN
The Jumbo stores in Ranst and Rijkevorsel will become independent in the coming weeks. The Dutch retail chain itself announced this. In the long term, they will look at whether more stores can become independent.
While the storm surrounding the privatization of 128 Delhaize stores is still raging, Jumbo has decided to leave their stores in Ranst and Rijkevorsel to franchisees. In this way, the retail chain wants to better respond to the needs of customers. “We want to remain relevant for Belgian customers and are continuously looking at how we can further improve the stores and our store base,” says Jumbo. “Now that we have been working with Jumbo in Belgium for almost four years, we are looking at what makes our formula successful here. We see that stores managed by franchisees have more opportunities to contribute locally to society and to build the store even better around the customer.”
According to Jumbo, the impact of franchising on employees remains minimal. They will be transferred to the independent buyers while retaining their employment conditions.
On November 6, the store in Rijkevorsel will be taken over by multi-store manager Martijn Vis and Jason Vis, who also own Jumbo Balen. A week later, Philippe Calliauw, branch manager at Jumbo Schoten and Anthony Van Gastel will take over the store in Ranst.
Socialist union BBTK has already reacted negatively to the franchising of the two stores. “This is what we feared and have always said: that more and more retailers will choose this formula and force others to go along with it. This is very bad news for the future of the sector,” says union representative Jan De Weghe.
For the time being, the locations in Ranst and Rijkevorsel are the only ones that have become independent, but Jumbo says it intends to open new stores through franchises where possible. “If an opportunity arises to spin off an existing store, we will investigate this and see if there is interest,” it said. The Dutch retail chain currently has ten supermarkets in Flanders with independent operators. In addition, there are 21 Jumbo stores that are managed by the chain itself.
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