Supermarket chain in crisis: the end of real markets is a foregone conclusion

DThe ailing supermarket chain Real is on the verge of collapse. The company is giving away several branches to competitors and wants to close the last stores by the end of March 2024. As Real announced on Monday in Mönchengladbach, 14 stores will be transferred to its rival Rewe, three branches to Kaufland and one store to Edeka. The Federal Cartel Office has yet to approve some of the plans. The remaining 45 stores will be closed by March 31, 2024, as “despite intensive efforts, a buyer for these locations has not yet been found.”

The Mein Real hypermarket chain filed in September to open independent bankruptcy proceedings. At the time, it was reported that more than 5,000 employees were affected at 62 stores and the headquarters in Mönchengladbach. Local government insolvency proceedings should make it possible to maintain business activities and negotiate with competitors about possible takeovers.

The most attractive branches went to Rewe, Globus and others.

The network is owned by financial investor SCP. He initially sold the company in June 2022, but bought it back in May 2023 due to the “critical economic situation.” SCP acquired the Real chain, with its 276 stores at the time, from trading group Metro in 2020 with the intention of breaking it up and selling it further.

Kaufland, Edeka, Globus and Rewe received a large number of the most attractive branches. The company, with its remaining 62 offices, was then taken over by the family office of the Tischendorf entrepreneurial family in the summer of 2022, before being reacquired by SCP in May.

Boyan Lunzer, CEO of Real GmbH, said the transfer of 18 “my real stores” will provide long-term prospects for approximately 1,500 employees. “Despite intensive efforts, store closures are inevitable given the difficult situation of Real GmbH.” Discussions are ongoing with the works council to conclude an alignment of interests and a social plan.

Source: Frantfurter Allgemeine

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