Carrefour has confirmed that it plans to replace the head of its hypermarket business, Alain Souillard, after posting "weak" third-quarter sales at the unit.

The French retailer was able to stem domestic market share losses in the third quarter, posting a  0.2% share gain, but its hypermarket business had failed to turn the tide of negative sales trends, particularly in non-food.

With continued rising unemployment, French consumers are still cutting back on discretionary spending, hitting non-food sales at hypermarkets.

At the same time, they have also come to favour convenience and supermarket outlets to more traditional out-of-town hypermarkets.

In order to overcome this, Verdict Research analyst Simon Chin told just-food, Carrefour needs to "experiment" with different store layouts, categories and product ranges while also investing in price.

Carrefour confirmed today (15 October) that Souillard will step down from his position at the head of this struggling business to be replaced by Guillaume Vicaire.

"Changes at our high management are part of our commitment to developing and improving our performance," a spokesperson for Carrefour said.

Hypermarket sales account for 62% of Carrefour's total sales.