Metro Group CEO Olaf Koch has admitted that his company is looking at all possible solutions for his ailing Belgian Makro branch, including selling it altogether.
Last week, Metro injected another 40 million euros into Makro Belgium. In the last four years, the German group had to help out the ailing division with no less than 320 million euros. In Belgian newspaper L'echo, Koch recognises the difficulties in Belgium: “We have both Makro and Metro here. Metro is quite small but performs well in its targetting of professionals. Makro however is still in a period of major challenges”.
Koch did not want to reveal much about the possible solutions he is looking into, but makes it clear that he is not ruling out anything: “Makro Belgium is one of the few Metro entities that is not profitable. This is not the place to talk specifics, but in a general level we are convinced the solution is evolving into a wholesale model. We have to consider every possible action and calculate its success rate.”
The CEO still believes in hypermarkets, pointing to their success in Germany. Finding the right format for each country however proves a challenge: “You can not just copy a concept that works in one country and paste it in another. Local culinary habits differ, as do the way of living and the way of shopping, and we have to appreciate and respect that.”