The Mestdagh group, a Belgian master franchiser for Carrefour with most of its stores in the French-speaking part of the country, has had an eventful week. In one go, it changed its CEO and tore up its contract with Carrefour.
Carrefour until 2023
The master franchiser has decided to terminate its master franchise contract, but as the term of notice is a year, the Groupe Mestdagh will remain connected to Carrefour until 1 January 2023. The Charleroi-based retailer says it wants the freedom to explore other paths as well, but stresses that it has not yet struck any deals with other retailers. It is also possible that Mestdagh will remain connected to Carrefour beyond 2023 - but only in a non-exclusive collaboration.
Remarkably, Mestdagh's current master franchise agreement only started earlier this year. It gave Mestdagh the right to open (smaller) Bio and Express stores, on top of the larger Carrefour Market stores it had operated for a while now. With 85 stores, Mestdagh currently is Carrefour's biggest Belgian franchiser.
Emmanuel Coria old and new CEO
Groupe Mestdagh has also changed its figure at the helm: Fabienne Bryskère has stepped down on 23 December, she confirmed in an interview with RetailDetail. Bryskère has left the company with immediate effect, and is succeeded by her predecessor Emmanuel Coria. When previous CEO Guillaume Beuscart left Mestdagh in January 2020, the CFO temporarily took charge of Mestdagh before giving the steering wheel to Bryskère two months later. Now, the wheel changes hands again in the other direction.
Bryskère lived through challenging times at Mestdagh: after a painful restructuring under Beuscart, she had to lead the transformational plan "New Mestdagh 2020", in which the retailer tried to conform to "new consumer expectations". However, in the current year several strikes erupted as employees complained about the high workload.