SYDNEY, Jan 22 (Reuters) – German supermarket chain Kaufland has cancelled plans to expand in Australia and will concentrate on its European core markets instead, the Australian daily said, citing a company executive.
About 200 staff were informed about the decision on Wednesday, with an assurance that “generous packages” would be offered, the newspaper report said.
“This was not an easy decision for us. We always felt welcome in Australia. We would like to thank our employees and we apologise for the disruption this decision will cause,” said Frank Schumann, acting CEO of Kaufland International, according to the report.
The company had announced plans to launch stores in Australia next year and its website had advertised jobs, saying it was “looking to purchase suitable and appropriate sites”.
Shares in domestic rivals Woolworths Group and Coles Group climbed about 3% each after the report.
Media representatives of Kaufland did not immediately respond to Reuters’ request for comment.
Reporting by Paulina Duran in Sydney; Editing by Sherry