Carrefour has started the roll-out of a franchised convenience store network in Poland.

The French retail giant said the first store under the "Carrefour 5 minut" banner is open in the town of Leszno, near Poznan.

Carrefour is looking to open up to 40 of these stores by the end of 2008. "The franchised convenience store is a new format which offers a large range of high-quality products at low prices," a Carrefour Polska spokesperson told just-food today (3 October).

In May, Carrefour told just-food that it planned to spend PLN1bn (US$359m) as part of a drive to become Poland's largest food retailer.

The company, which operates over 130 stores in Poland, said it would build five hypermarkets this year and rebrand its Champion and Globi supermarkets.

Last December, Carrefour agreed to buy 179 supermarkets and 15 hypermarkets from Dutch rival Ahold.