Last week, Kaufland announced its plans to withdraw from the Australian market to concentrate on its core European markets. The decision affects 200 employees which the supermarket giant says will be offered all entitlements as part of a support and consultation process.
Business partners, suppliers and contractors have been advised that Kaufland will be continuing to trade as normal until further notice. Information about invoices and contractual agreements will be arranged as soon as possible.
In a statement provided to Retailbiz, Kaufland said the future of its existing Australian investments, including properties purchased for retail outlets and distribution infrastructure will be discussed with relevant parties.
“This decision is about focusing business activities in Europe and is in no way a reflection of the efforts of our local employees or management, or the support Kaufland has received from the Australian business community or governments,” the statement read.
Kaufland International acting CEO, Frank Schumann said it was not an easy decision.
“We always felt welcome in Australia. We would like to thank our employees and we apologise for the disruption this decision will cause. We would also like to thank our business partners, who offered us great support over the last few years. We would also like to thank the government for being very open-minded to our projects. In Europe, we see a great deal of growth potential. We will actively shape the consolidation of the European retail sector, thus further reinforcing our leading position.”
Kaufland is currently operating in Germany, Poland, the Czech Republic, Romania, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Croatia, and the Republic of Moldova with circa 1,300 stores and 132,000 employees.