Kesko has announced its plan to launch consultative negotiations at 53 out of the 643 Siwa and Valintatalo corner shops it acquired in the second half of 2015.
“Suomen Lähikauppa's network unfortunately also includes shops where we have been unable to find a way to continue the operations profitably and sustainably,” Jorma Rauhala, the director of grocery trade at Kesko, explains in a press release. “For example, the pull of growth centres has contributed to the fact that certain smaller municipalities no longer have enough customers even for small shops.”
- KKV to look closer into Kesko's proposed takeover of Suomen Lähikauppa (14 January, 2016)
- Kesko to take over rivals Siwa and Valintatalo (19 November, 2015)
A total of 259 employees will be affected by the consultative negotiations, according to the press release.
Kesko also reminds that it has been ordered by the Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority (KKV) to find buyers for an additional 61 grocery shops transferred under its control as part of the takeover of Suomen Lähikauppa in order to prevent price increases in certain local markets.
Although it remains confident that a buyer will be found for at least some of the shops, Kesko has initiated consultative negotiations with the 311 people working in the shops to determine their role in its corner shop network in the event that they cannot be sold by the deadline set by KKV.
The sales process is led by an independent expert appointed by KKV.
Kesko says it will continue integrating the remainder of the Siwa and Valintatalo shops into its network of corner shops, estimating that the process will be wrapped up by the end of April. The acquisition, it says, has enabled it to grow in line with its strategy and begin improving its corner shop services.
“Kesko is focused heavily on corner shop services and will invest tens of millions of euros in its current and new shop network in the years to come,” tells Rauhala.
Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Photo: Emmi Tulokas – Lehtikuva
Source: Uusi Suomi