Which Casino store will go under the Auchan brand, which other will become an Intermarché? Will the two distributors applying for the takeover of more than 300 stores take over warehouses? The group's employees should find out more this week. The distributor of Saint-Etienne origin, engaged in restructuring its heavy debt, has been in negotiations since December with its competitors Intermarché and Auchan in order to sell them 313 super and hypermarkets.
However, the negotiations must “land” on January 31 and it is planned that the employees will be informed on Wednesday during a central social and economic committee (CSEC) of a detailed list of stores which would be attached either to the Mulliez galaxy group , or to the group of independents which is the 3rd player in food distribution in France, behind E.Leclerc and Carrefour.
On January 4, the inter-union (FO, CGT, CFDT, UNSA, CFE-CGC) indicated after a meeting with management and the representative of the group's future buyers, that "around a third" of the stores should be taken over by Auchan, the other two thirds by Intermarché. Order of magnitude not denied by the boss of the Mousquetaires/Intermarché Thierry Cotillard.
On Monday, the specialized media LSA as well as the sector specialist Olivier Dauvers published detailed lists of stores which were going to move to this or that brand, but this detail was not confirmed by Casino, which refused to comment. . According to a source close to the negotiations, discussions are continuing between the brands and the lists revealed are not up to date. The buyers have undertaken to maintain employment in the acquired stores. According to the group still controlled for a few months by Jean-Charles Naouri, 12,300 jobs would be affected by a change of brand.
The inter-union, however, was concerned on Friday by the fact that the boss of Les Mousquetaires/Intermarché Thierry Cotillard indicated at the beginning of January on RTL that “in certain very isolated cases, there could be points of sale which are not taken over”. These brand changes will also have ripple consequences for the group's support functions. The latter also includes the Monoprix and Franprix brands, and still employed 50,000 people in France at the end of 2022.
A CSEC must also take place on Friday for Easydis, the distributor's logistics subsidiary. The list of warehouses taken over by Auchan or Intermarché, or which would be transferred to portage, should then be known. Easydis has just over 2,000 employees. The question of “the reorganization of those who will be retained” by Casino will then arise, indicated one of the spokespersons for the inter-union, Nathalie Devienne (FO), at the beginning of January. The inter-union then said it had been informed that none of the sites should be closed.
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Just like the Casino headquarters, where many jobs could lose their substance with the transfer of so many stores to competitors, logistics sites have a strong political dimension, particularly for local elected officials for whom they are important suppliers. of jobs. “We will try to save as many employees as possible,” said the other union spokesperson, Jean Pastor (CGT), estimating that “at headquarters, 1000 to 1200 people will find themselves out of work”.
The unions must negotiate by the end of the first quarter of 2024 “a method agreement” to set up “a social support component for employees”, as part of the sale of super and hypermarkets. The second of three negotiation meetings is scheduled for February 1, before a final one on February 7.
At the same time, the Casino group is restructuring its debt and changing its shareholding. It must crush more than 5 billion euros of debt and should pass by March/April into the hands of billionaires Daniel Kretinsky and Marc Ladreit de Lacharrière, backed by the Attestor fund. The Paris Commercial Court is due to rule on February 5 on the distributor's rescue plan.