According to a report in the Taipei Times, Carrefour Taiwan is planning to take on Pxmart, the nations only hard-discounter, within the next five years as growth in the hypermarket sector slows.

With 43 stores in Taiwan, Carrefour commands 46% of the domestic organised retail industry. The retailer aims to add an additional five stores to its portfolio by the end of the year and has set sales targets for the year of NT70bn (US2.1bn).  By 2010 Carrefour aims to have 80 stores in operation.

"Compared to Europe, where the store density is one hypermarket for every 50,000 people, Taiwan still has a large room for development with one store per 200,000 people," Carrefour spokesman Allan Tien told the Taiwanese media.

Carrefour intends to pursue an aggressive pricing strategy and suggested that the hypermarket sector will continue to grow at the expanse of traditional markets.

In order to build up its market share, Carrefour's retail prices are 10-15% lower than those in hypermarkets and 20-30% cheaper than those in supermarkets, according to the company's web site.