Has Carrefour missed the boat of change?
The French supermarket chain Carrefour plans to axe a large number of jobs, including roughly 1,200 in Belgium. The move comes in response to the growing competition from e-commerce, the company says. Belgian commentators accuse Carrefour's Paris management of short-sightedness and a lack of knowledge of the local market.
Workers end up footing the bill again
Carrefour has slept through technological developments, De Morgen complains:
“The revolution of continuous technological renewal has spread like wildfire through numerous business sectors. Business models change without regard for tradition or hierarchies. ... Companies that don't adapt in time will go under. ... Carrefour was particularly slow to grasp that something has changed in consumer patterns. ... The biggest player in the sector, Amazon, has been in business for 24 years. So it's high time for companies to come up with answers of their own. ... But the cynical and bitter truth is that once again the workers will have to pay the price for the arrogant short-sightedness of those at the top.”
Belgium treated like a poor cousin
Belgium must once again bleed heavily as was the case with former company reorganisations, L'Echo writes in anger:
“You get the impression that the 'flat country' pays for the strategic planning mistakes of the bloated Paris headquarters. ... It's as if history were continuously repeating itself since Carrefour came to Belgium 20 years ago. Belgium is one of the countries where the company is most firmly established, but the group insists on naming French managers who just come and go (6 general managers in 18 years!). This is no place for cheap nationalism, but is that really the best way to come to terms with the realities of a local market, particularly in a complex country and in a sector like the food retail trade where proximity is the golden rule?”