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Reuters reports that Delhaize, the Belgian retailer, has hired Lazard Ltd. to sell its Sweetbay Supermarkets and Harvey's Supermarkets chains.

However, CEO Pierre-Olivier Beckers will not confirm the report, only saying that the future of the chains "is a question on the table at the moment."

This has been a time of some tumult at Delhaize, which makes 65 cents out of every dollar with its US operations, which also include Food Lion and Hannaford.

Late last year, after the retirement of Ron Hodge, the company named Roland Smith as the new CEO of president/CEO of Delhaize America. Subsequently, Smith instituted a broad organizational shakeup, and also decided to shutter about a third of Sweetbay's 104 stores in western Florida. And, just in the last few weeks, Pierre-Olivier Beckers announced his retirement, to take place before the end of the year.
KC's View:
I have no doubt about the veracity of this report. Clearly, the folks in Belgium have decided that it is time for Delhaize America to get more from less.

Lot of moving parts at Delhaize right now. Changes in leadership, changes in structure, and it is hard to see a slam-dunk option for what companies might be the best fits for Sweetbay and Harveys. The challenge is to make sure that even as the company goes through dramatic restructuring, that the focus stays not just on being efficient, but also increasingly effective.