Carrefour is stepping up the use of lease management to relaunch its hypermarkets.
The distributor communicated on Thursday to the group's unions its intention to switch 43 new stores to lease-management, including 16 hypermarkets.
According to this management method, which is similar to franchising, the employees of the stores concerned are no longer those of Carrefour, but become those of the tenant-manager.
The latter is no longer an employee of Carrefour either, but he is his own boss, even if he does not own the walls of his store.
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For Carrefour, the process makes it possible to cut sources of losses without losing market share.
Stores under lease management generally reduce the number of employees they employ.
These employees also lose certain social benefits linked to Carrefour.
What mechanically straighten out their profitability.
Last year, Carrefour had put 55 stores under lease management, including 10 hypermarkets.
But this year, the distributor is targeting large stores, when it previously limited the use of lease management to medium-sized hypermarkets.
Those of Vitrolles (19,000 m2), in the Bouches-du-Rhône, Portet-sur-Garonne, near Toulouse (17,000 m2), Aulnay (14,000 m2) and Marseille grand Littoral (15,000 m2), should be concerned if the management plan is maintained.
Carrefour relies on lease management to relaunch its hypermarkets
The hyper of Portet-sur-Garonne is a symbol of the difficulties of this format in France.
It was for a long time the largest of the chain (25,000 m2) when Carrefour decided to reduce its size at the end of the 2000s. But the group has not managed to put it back on its feet.
The recovery of these hypermarkets was impossible within the framework of the integrated model
, explains Carrefour.
The switch to rental management aims to avoid closing them down and to preserve jobs
The unions deplore that 6,000 employees are leaving the bosom of Carrefour.