Franklins has been bought out leaving its Dubbo employees wondering if their jobs are safe. Photo: BELINDA SOOLEThe jobs of 60 full-time and casual workers employed by the Franklins supermarket at Orana Mall are under a cloud.
Nanjing Night Net

The discount grocer is slated for closure when an acquisition deal between South African parent company Pick n Pay and Metcash Trading Limited is completed.

The Dubbo outlet could be rebadged as part of the IGA network but there are fears some Franklins supermarkets could be ditched.

Concerned Dubbo staff remained tight-lipped yesterday but they have been through this troubling process before as Franklins stores passed from company to company in recent years.

Franklins began operations in the Macquarie Mall in Dubbo’s central business district in the 1980s.

The supermarket relocated to Orana Mall in 1996 and is locked into a lease for two-and-a-half thousand square metres of floor space.

Orana Mall centre manager David Fenwick yesterday told the Daily Liberal Franklins was continuing to trade normally.

“I really can’t see the Dubbo store closing,’’ he said.

“Metcash has paid a lot of money and wouldn’t throw its dollars away.

“I can’t say whether rebadging Franklins would make the Dubbo supermarket better or worse. The latest IGA stores are equal to or better than the existing Franklins.’’

Mr Fenwick said Franklins had experienced a chequered history and major companies sometimes purchased chains of stores to obtain specific sites.

“At times decisions are made to ditch certain outlets but I can’t speculate on what may happen with Franklins in Dubbo.

“Having two supermarkets at Orana Mall is a definite advantage. The Franklins lease has quite a while to run and Metcash would be well aware of that.’’

A spokesperson for Franklins indicated the deal with Metcash was subject to informal clearance from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission and other consents.

Completion of the $215 million transaction is expected to occur by late September.

Metcash proposes to implement a store sale program to independent IGA retailers.

Metcash will operate the stores in the intervening period.

Metcash chief executive Andrew Reitzer said the IGA network would significantly improve its competitive position against the national chains in NSW while growing the market share of Metcash supplied retailers in the State from 11 to 17 per cent.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.