Carrefour has confirmed that the world's second largest retailer is planning to expand its small-scale supermarket business in its home market.

The majority of Carrefour's French sales come from large-scale hypermarkets, but the retailer now hopes to develop smaller outlets too.

"We hope to grow our business through a number of measures designed to increase sales. One of these is to increase our number of smaller supermarket outlets in France," the company told just-food.

Gerard Dorey, head of commerce de proximité, has said that 140 supermarkets will be opened in 2006 and 2007 - a 3.7% rise over the number of openings in 2005. Sales from the supermarkets are expected to grow by 2% pro forma when comparing the results for 2005 and 2008.

The company also hopes to boost sales by lengthening supermarket opening hours and improving links to public transport.