Co-op Denmark has announced the closure of its Fakta supermarkets and merger of its Kvickly and SuperBrugsen chains.
The consumer co-op – one of the country’s biggest retailers – is responding to energy prices and inflation, CEO Kræn Østergaard Nielsen told FødevareWatch. It has accelerated some of its planned changes in response to teh sitution, which Nielsen said presents “lots of problems but also lots of opportunities”.
Fakta will be phased out by the end of the year, with many outlets being replaced by stores under the Coop 365discount brand – Coop Denmark’s budget chain launched in 2020. The retailer expects to have 350 of the discount stores open by the end of the year, with a further 50 to open after that.
The investment in Coop 365discount is guided by consumer behaviour, Nielsen said, as demand for budget options grows. Fakta, which was founded in 1981 and bought by Coop Denmark in 1987, has been making a loss in recent years.
The replacement of Fakta with Coop 365discount is under way, with some stores already converted. Those which are too small to house Coop 365discount’s full product range will be closed entirely.
The changes also see Coop Denmark bringing together its SuperBrugsen and Kvickly stores under a common director, Kenneth Holmen Pederse. The merger of the two chains, which already share weekly promotions, will initially be behind the scenes before the two stores become a unified brand.
The changes being made by the member-owned co-op will eventually result in an overall simplification of the business, with Coop Denmark running one supermarket and one discount store. FødevareWatch reported that although the plans include reducing employee numbers in the long-term, no layoffs are currently planned.