Belgian food retailer Delhaize announced it would be cutting 5,000 jobs, mainly in the United States, as well as closing 150 under-performing shops.
"After a thorough review of our store portfolio, we have decided to close or convert a number of stores in the U.S. and in Southeastern Europe during the first quarter of 2012...," the company said in a statement, released on Thursday.
"Approximately 5,000 associates will be impacted by these closings," it added, as it published its provisional results for 2011.
The group would close 146 stores in the United States and southeastern Europe. It would also convert 64 of its Bloom and Bottom Dollar Food stores in the United States to the Food Lion chain.
That meant 4,900 job cuts in the United States and about 100 in Europe, a spokesman said.
The idea was to focus on the most promising Food Lion stores and accelerate profitable growth, said chief executive and company president Pierre-Olivier Beckers.
"While we grew our revenues for the full year, we are disappointed in the fourth quarter revenues in the US and Belgium," he said in the company statement.
"Consumers continued to feel pressured in the fourth quarter due to the macro-economic environment and this led to a reduction in spending. We also encountered an increase in competitive activity," he added.
Provisional results showed the company recorded a turnover of $21.1 billion in 2011, a rise of 4.6 percent.