Gorillas in Belgium: Will they stay or will they go?

As the grocery and convenience fast-delivery company reduces its global footprint, there is some confusion as to Gorillas position regarding operations in Belgium. Local media reports suggested that it was withdrawing from the country, though this was later denied by management.

Gorillas released a statement that it would look at ‘all strategic options’ with regards its operations outside of Germany, France, the UK, the Netherlands and the US. While focusing on these countries it appears that withdrawal from Belgium, Denmark, Italy and Spain was certainly an option.

The HLN newspaper reported that management was confirming the withdrawal, citing an internal email. Other media outlets reported that this was just one option being considered among many being discussed with trades unions in the firm. Gorillas management now insist that they will be staying but will close a number of sites in Antwerp and Brussels – the only cities in which it operates in Belgium.

As well as direct operations, Gorillas is working with Jumbo that operates in Belgium and the Netherlands and has taken over smaller fast-delivery company Frichti.

Given the company has not achieved anything like the economies of scale it is gunning for to achieve profitability, Gorillas position is shaky at best. It remains to be seen whether the firm continues to limp on while haemorrhaging VC money to survive.

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