Croatian Agrokor’s retail arm Konzum to shut down 105 stores by year-end

Konzum, the country’s largest retailer part of the troubled food-to-retail concern Agrokor, is to close 105 stores by the end of the year, of which 22 by the end of this month, to achieve operational stability and sustainability of business. The stores that are to be closed employ total of 870 workers, 80% of whom will be transferred to other Konzum shops and the remaining 20% can expect other solutions, the retailer said after reaching a collective agreement with workers. As part of the deal, Konzum will increase as of Aug 1 the wages of 6,000 workers who are worst paid, which is nearly half of its workforce. Konzum CEO Slavko Ledic noted that Konzum shops in Adriatic resorts need some 250 workers, which he explained as being a seasonal employment problem as well as being on account of the low mobility of workers in the country. Agrokor signed earlier this week the agreed a month ago EUR 480mn loan, which is to secure its operations this summer. Its crisis manager Ante Ramjak said that a potential bankruptcy was avoided, the company was saved and now will turn to restructuring and efforts to improve profitability. That stage will continue until a final settlement with creditors was reached, the manager clarified.

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