A quarter of all 128 Delhaize supermarkets have already found a new owner. Remarkably, many takers are very familiar with the retailer, with among them a lot of existing store managers.
In two series, Delhaize released a total of 32 stores that will be sold to franchisers in the upcoming months. A closer analysis shows that Delhaize found many candidates either within its own ranks – or very close at least.
While the first list of fifteen stores was divided equally (in theory) between current franchisers, current employees and external candidates, the difference is quite stark in the second list of seventeen. Seven of those stores go to people who already own a Delhaize store, such as Vincent Duchâteau from Frasnes: he adds Delhaize Ath to the stores of Tom & Co, Proxy en AD Delhaize that he already owns in the province of Hainault.
Kathleen Vanlangendonck adds the store in Mons to her store in nearby Nimy. The Lips family (Delhaize Brugge Sint-Kruis) already has two stores in West-Flanders (Aalter and Heist). Delhaize Overijse was purchased by Dirk Pauwels, who already owns three stores (Hoeilaart, Leest and Tienen).
Maxime Rhelouma, operator of AD Delhaize Forest, is taking on Delhaize Roodebeek in Brussels, while another store in the same city (Saint Antoine) found a new owner in Samir Chara, who already has franchises of Proxy Delhaize, Shop&Go and Olivier Dachkin. Anne Doutrepont acquired Delhaize Verviers, while she already has Proxy Delhaizes in the same city (on the Crescend’eau site) and in nearby Pepinster.
Seven other stores pass into the hands of twelve current Delhaize employees. Cyril Montois has been deputy manager in the Delhaize Les Bastions (Tournai) before now taking ownership of it. Amandine de Riollet de Morteuil, Stéphane De Wilde d’Estmael and Nicolas Thery, meanwhile, will take over the shops in Braine-l’Alleud and Waterloo. The first two are unit director at Delhaize’s head office, while Thery is a former Delhaize store manager who currently has his own management company.
Other store managers are Nicolas Bergé (who is taking over Delhaize Marche), Abbigael Delvaux (Delhaize Marcinelle), Pierre-Alexandre Demeure (Delhaize De Fré in Brussels) and Hélène Decroix (Delhaize Waasland).
Among the three “external” parties acquiring Delhaize stores, there are some former employees. Two of them work at Delhaize’s regular bread supplier La Lorraine Bakery Group: François Nelen (who previously worked at Delhaize for more than eleven years and who is taking over the store in Ghent-Ledeberg) and Julie D’Haese (who will run the Delhaize in Kasterlee).
All of this seems to make consultant Paul Moreau (the new owner of Delhaize Fort Jaco) the only real outsider. Although even we do not know (or find) everything…