Against the backdrop of financial difficulties and the breathlessness of the model of large hypermarkets, the Auchan distribution group will cut its workforce.
In France, 517 jobs will only disappear from support services (CIO, finance, corporate, etc.) but not in hypermarkets.
According to the distributor owned by the Mulliez family association, 677 positions would be cut, including 652 currently occupied, while 135 positions would be created in data management and digital at the same time. A few days ago, unions feared the loss of a thousand jobs.
According to the group, this decision comes within the framework of its “reorganization” project in order to be “more attentive to new market needs and expectations” and to better “adapt” its organization and its working methods.
Last year, Auchan Holding recorded a net loss of 1.145 billion euros for the whole of 2018 and a drop in turnover of 3% between 2016 and 2018.
A voluntary departure plan
The distribution group has already launched the first part of its “recovery” plan in spring 2019 with the sale of 21 sites potentially involving between 700 and 800 employees.
In July, management said they had found buyers for ten of the sites put up for sale. The group announced in late August that it was targeting cost savings of 1.1 billion euros in a full year by 2022.
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For the first time in its history, Auchan will implement a voluntary departure plan. "We are firmly determined to negotiate", with the objective of "creating bridges between the different entities of the Mulliez group" in order to offer an alternative to the employees concerned, said last week Guy Laplatine, CFDT union representative for the Auchan group Retail France.
The brand wants to be reassuring. “We provide exemplary support for employee volunteers. Auchan employs 75,000 people in France. We do not want to be violent. Our plan is based on the group's DNA and culture. "
Auchan has been slow to react to the changes
According to Edgard Bonte, president of Auchan Retail, "Auchan is among the companies that have been the slowest to react to the aging of the model born in the 1970s. We have aged with our customers," he explains in Les Echos. .
According to him, Auchan's development has mainly relied on the international market, forgetting investments in France for twenty years. However, according to him, “this model has been turned upside down by the arrival of digital technology and new consumption trends that favor healthier and more responsible food. Our organizations are no longer effective. New professions must be introduced there. To finance this change, Auchan should sell new non-strategic real estate assets in France.
To relaunch, the company wants to make more room on the shelves of its hypermarkets with local products and new recipes.
“We are going to reduce certain non-food universes where we are no longer relevant, such as large household appliances, cultural leisure. Conversely, we will develop the service departments, butchers and other fishmongers, ”adds Edgar Bonte.
In addition, brands like Décathlon could develop in the future within Auchan stores.