On 4 December, Intermarché will hand the last twelve supermarkets of Intermarché by Mestdagh over to independent operators. This will complete the entire franchising operation, well before the deadline.
It only took Intermarché a good six months to find buyers for the 51 integrated stores, Christian trade union CNE reported to news agency Belga. In doing so, Intermarchés Belgian management has fulfilled its ambition to find an independent buyer for all shops before the end of the year.
Earlier this year, the French supermarket group acquired 83 supermarkets that the Mestdagh family managed for Carrefour. While a third of those stores were already franchised, 51 of them were operated in-house. Since Intermarché works exclusively with independent operators, the company started looking for franchisers for those shops, and found them mostly in its own ranks. As with Delhaize, the plans caused social unrest, but in the end the whole operation passed rather peacefully. However, the unions remain vigilant about wage and working conditions in the franchise shops.