(Greece) – The Greek supermarket chain, Marinopoulos, has announced that they are filing for bankruptcy protection. The company, which is one of the largest supermarket chains in Greece, currently owes millions of euros to banks and also to some of their vendors. Since sales are down, they had a difficult time making their payments. The supermarket chain currently has partnerships with Carrefour, Gap, and Starbucks, but moves like that haven’t been enough to drive additional sales. On July 1, 2016, the company will begin the process of liquidating their assets in order to comply with Greece’s bankruptcy laws.
At one time, the Marinopoulos Group was one of the country’s most successful companies, but they have been struggling for a while. They’ve examined options such as creating a partnership with Sklavenitis, their competitor. They’ve also made several attempts to restructure the company. These measures either failed or didn’t prove to be enough. Bankruptcy protection was always looked at as a last resort, but now it’s their only option.
Currently, the Marinopouls Group employees around 13,000 people and all of them stand to lose their jobs if the company doesn’t rebound and successfully emerge from bankruptcy protection. They got their start in 1893 as a small pharmacy and later grew as each generation expanded the business. The international partnerships like Carrefour and Starbucks have done a lot to encourage this expansion.
Marinopolous is one of those companies that is certainly feeling the affects of Greece’s recession. Overall, Greek spending on things like groceries has declined. For instance, figures released that assess spending from January to May have declined by 5.7% from the same time period in 2015. Supermarkets like Marinopoulos are the first to feel the impact of this decline. Because of austerity, people don’t have as much money to spend on items such as groceries. The Greek government just secured its third bailout since 2010.