French retail giant Carrefour has said it plans to make its South Korean stores more upmarket in a bid to better compete with larger domestic rivals.

Carrefour said it did not plan to make changes to the products on offer but that it would instead remodel its stores and try to improve the service it provides, reported the Financial Times.

"We are upgrading the interior of our shops to a more department store-like atmosphere as Koreans don't like the garage style of western outlets," Chung Eu-hun, a spokesman for Carrefour in Korea, was quoted by the newspaper as saying. "And we are making it easier for customers to return products and get a refund." 

The company said it would invest $200m a year between 2004 and 2007 in its South Korean operations.