As expected, the six Belgian Makro shops will not open their doors in 2023. The current sale ends on 30 December, that much is now certain, but what will happen to the shops after that is still unclear.
The transfer of Metro’s Belgian assets to new owners Sligro and Van Zon will take place on 3 January, but they had no interest in its ailing sibling Makro. Management has now informed the unions that the cash-and-carry chain will permanently close their doors at the end of this year. The big sale that is currently ongoing, with discounts of up to 70 % on non-food items, will end on 30 December. On Saturday 31 December, the shops will not open: that is when employees will take their public holiday transferred from 1 January (as that is a Sunday), Johan Van Loon of trade union ACV Puls told RetailDetail. After that date, the employees will no longer have to work for the retailer.
Even though this news is not unexpected, for Makro employees it means there is finally a little more clarity after long months of uncertainty. Just last week, employees at the Antwerp and Ghent shops went on strike because they were more than fed up with the ongoing uncertainty. Despite repeated questions to the management, they got no answer. Until now, that is.
There are still a number of the questions open, however, because it remains to be decided what will happen to Makro next year. The chain still enjoys protection against creditors until 14 January, and the management says it wants to use this time to look at all options. However, there are not many options now that no buyer has been found: it will either be bankruptcy or liquidation. For employees, the first option is more financially disadvantageous than the second…