Dutch retailer Laurus has fallen victim to the ongoing price wars in the Netherlands. With price cuts eating into declining profit margins, Laurus has announced its intention to sell two supermarket chains, Edah and Konmar.
Laurus had previously undertaken a number of programmes designed to boost profits, all of which had experienced, at best, limited success.
“Although the new positioning of Edah and Konmar stores has yielded a significant improvement in sales, profitability is not expected to reach a satisfactory level,” the company said. Rather it intends to refocus its resources and invest a projected EUR36m (US$43.5m) into its 380 remaining supermarkets.
Rivals Ahold and Schuitema have reportedly shown a considerable amount of interest in taking on the discarded supermarkets. Reports in the Dutch press have suggested that Schuitema, in which Ahold has a 79% stake, is considering purchasing Konmar, while Ahold is buying up stores to add to its Albert Heijn chain. Belgian firm Colruyt may also view this as an opportunity to move into the Dutch market by acquiring stores formerly operated by Laurus.