By John Lee.
The French retailer Groupe Auchan has announced that its hypermarket in Erbil has closed down.
The company described the closure as a "non-anticipated decision ... by the SI Retail shareholders, the English-law firm managing locally the hypermarket, due to the difficult situation encountered in the country." SI Retail signed an Auchan franchise contract in 2012, the 6,000-sqm hypermarket being opened on 25 June 2014.
However, due to the operating difficulties faced by the hypermarket end-2014, Groupe Auchan had agreed to grant the operator more time to pay the franchise licence owed for the year, so that it could meet its commitments.
Despite this measure, SI Retail was not able to improve the situation of the hypermarket, which brought it to take this closing decision. This unilateral decision from SI Retail put de facto an end to the contract signed by both firms.
Local employees received their April payroll.