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You may have heard on the news that EMTÉ supermarkets were sold to Jumbo and Coop. But what did this mean for EMTÉ employees? Involve was in on this high-impact change from the moment of the takeover up to the point when the organisation was closed.


Supermarket chain EMTÉ, part of the Sligro Food Group until the takeover, had 130 stores, distribution centres in Kapelle and Putten, a meat processing plant in Enschede and a head office in in Veghel. The brand had a total of around 5000 employees.


EMTÉ was acquired by a consortium of Jumbo and Coop from 1 June 2018. They were looking for a communication manager for the period of the takeover. The job would focus on two important questions.

How to bring employees in the EMTÉ stores over happily to the new brand of Jumbo and Coop while keeping turnover at an appropriate level until that point?

How to part company on good terms with employees at the head office, the distribution centres and the meat processing plant, where parts of the business were to be closed down?


One of the first challenges was introducing the new executive board. In conjunction with the board, we constructed an overall narrative covering the period of run-down. The board shared this with head office employees, the business staff, branch managers and the managers at the distribution centres and meat processing plant during the first few days after the takeover.

We then worked on a new configuration of a complete communication structure. The plan we developed for this was based on three pillars.

  1. Process communication
    What would we do over the coming year to keep people informed about the changes and progress? A new communication structure was set up for this.
  2. Company rituals
    What impactful points should we use to pause for thought, carefully and attentively, about the impact on the employees? One example was the final week before the conversion in the stores.
  3. Specific communication where there was an impact

How do you deal with impact on staff? This was about controlling the message, for instance concerning the closures of the distribution centres and meat processing plant.


These steps resulted in a controlled run-down of the organisation. Communication made its contribution to this, in that the employees were involved in the progress of the organisation and also clear about what was expected of them and the parts they could play during this period. This approach built on trust in the executive board, which was appreciated by the employees.


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