French supermarket giant selling off 21 of its stores

A French supermarket giant has announced the sale of 21 of its loss-making stores, with the possible loss of more than 700 jobs.

French supermarket giant selling off 21 of its stores
Auchan has had a turbulent time and faces financial losses. Photo: AFP

Leading supermarket brand Auchan has announced that 21 of its stores are up for sale – and could face closure if they do not find a buyer.

The troubled retail chain has endured several years of financial woes and has recently restructured in an attempt to stem its loses.

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The 21 stores that will be put up for sales are ones with “no realistic prospect of a return to profitability” the chain announced on Tuesday.

The company said the sale potentially affected 723 employees, and if no buyer could be found, a job protection plan would be put in place.

According to French newspaper Les Echos, the 21 sites to be offered for sale include the Villetaneuse hypermarket (Seine-Saint-Denis), which employs 188 people.

Other sites listed were the supermarkets of Faulquemont (Moselle), Tours (Indre-et-Loire), Esvres (Indre-et-Loire), Roanne (Loire), Marquette-lez-Lille (Nord), Arras (Pas-de-Calais), Perpignan (Pyrénées-Orientales), Mulhouse (Haut-Rhin), Rouen (Seine-Maritime), Albert (Somme), Athis-Mons (Essonne), Chevilly-Larue (Val-de-Marne) and Saint-Ouen-L'Aumone (Val-d'Oise).

In total, Auchan has 637 stores in France and employs 73,800 people.


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France to roll out ID cards app

Technology is being rolled out to allow people to carry their French ID cards in an app form - and could be rolled out to other cards, including driving licences and cartes de séjour residency cards.

France to roll out ID cards app

Holders of French carte d’identité (ID cards) will soon be able to carry certified digital versions of them on their smartphone or other electronic devices, a decree published in the Journal Officiel has confirmed.

An official app is being developed for holders of the newer credit card-format ID cards that have information stored on a chip. A provisional test version of the app is expected at the end of May.

Users will be able to use the ID card app, when it becomes available, for a range of services “from checking in at the airport to renting a car”, according to Thierry Breton, EU Commissioner for the Internal Market.

All French citizens have an ID card, which can be used for proving identity in a range of circumstances and for travel within the EU and Schengen zone – the new app will be in addition to the plastic card that holders already have.

Under the plans, after downloading the app, card holders will need merely to hold the card close to their phone to transfer the required information. According to officials, the holder then can decide what information is passed on – such as proof of age, or home address – according to the situation.

The government has not given any examples of situations in which the app would need to be used, but has set out the main principles and the ambition of the plan: to allow everyone to identify themselves and connect to certain public and private organisations, in particular those linked to the France Connect portal.

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Cards will continue to be issued for the foreseeable future – this is merely an extension of the existing system.

Only French citizens have ID cards, but if successful the app is expected to be rolled out to include other cards, such as driving licences, cartes de séjour residency cards or even visas. A digital wallet is being developed at the European level – Member States have until September to agree what it could contain.

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