Israel’s largest supermarket chain, Shufersal, and its pharmacy subsidiary, Be, will undergo a major restructuring, the chain’s board of directors announced Wednesday. The country’s second-largest supermarket chain, Yinot Beitan, has already begun a similar process.
Shufersal informed the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange (TASE) that its efficiency plan, expected to save the company some NIS 250 million, had been approved by the board.
The cuts include layoffs of some ten percent of the chain’s employees at its headquarters and business units at an estimated savings of about NIS 60 million, Israel’s Channel 12 News reported.
In addition, 25 branches of the supermarket and its pharmacy subsidiary, Be, are to be closed, bringing the company an estimated savings of some NIS 100 million.
The company also said it plans to reduce operating expenses, at an estimated savings of some NIS 90 million.
But it’s not only Shufersal that’s downsizing in the face of a looming global recession.
The Elektra company, corporate parent to the Yinot Beitan supermarket chain, has already begun to carry out its own efficiency plan.
The supermarket chain is expected to see employee layoffs in addition to the closure of at least five stores. At least 25 Yinot Beitan branches will be renovated at an investment of NIS 40 million and then transferred to the French Carrefour retail chain in preparation for its anticipated launch next year.
Three of the Carrefour stores – in Tel Aviv, Or Yehuda and Kiryat Gat – are to become completely new supermarkets.
Those to be converted into Carrefour outlets include stores in Tel Aviv, Kiryat Ono, Herzliya, Rishon Lezion, Rosh Ha’Ayin and Ra’anana. In the first quarter of 2023, Yinot Beitan plans to convert another 20 of its supermarkets to the Carrefour brand.
Carrefour operates a chain of 13,894 hypermarkets, grocery stores and convenience stores in more than 30 countries worldwide.
Yinot Beitan Group, the second biggest supermarket chain in Israel, includes Mega supermarkets, with 150 branches. It was acquired by Elektra’s Salkind brothers in May 2021 for NIS 400 million.
Elektra reached an agreement with Carrefour to become its Israeli franchise for the next 20 years, with an option to extend for an additional two decades, Globes reported.