Carrefour said it could not comment on reports in the French press that it is planning to drop certain leading brands from its product range in order to promote own-label goods.

A report in Le Figaro earlier this week claimed that the French retailing giant was poised to remove from its shelves a number of goods from top manufacturers, among them Henkel, Reckitt-Benkiser and Colgate-Palmolive.

"As is our policy, if we have something to say we will do so in an official statement," a company spokeswoman told

Another French supermarket group, Intermarché, is planning to reduce by 10% the range of food brands it sells, the report adds.

The backdrop to such moves is a recent change to the law in France which has ushered in greater price deregulation in the retail sector; While legislative reform is primarily designed to lower prices, it has also given producers scope to impose hikes in 2006 which has left retailers exasperated and threatening retaliatory action.