French retail giant Carrefour is to open two new concept stores tomorrow (24 August) in a bid to revive flagging European sales, according to reports.

Last month, the world’s second-largest retailer, reported a fall in like-for-like sales, excluding fuel, for the second quarter of 2010.

The company booked a 1.1% decrease in like-for-like sales, excluding petrol, for the three months to the end of June, compared to growth of 0.3% in the three months to the end of March.

The result meant Carrefour‘s first-half like-for-like sales decreased 0.4%, excluding fuel.

However, chief executive Lars Olofsson told Le Journal du Dimanche at the weekend that the new hypermarkets will focus on competitive product areas in a bid to boost sales.

The retailer has embarked on a three-year plan that includes investing a third of the EUR3.1bn (US$4bn) the company has targeted in cost savings by 2012 in revamping stores, introducing new ranges and offering price promotions.

The new hypermarkets will focus on sectors in which Carrefour is competitive in prices such as textiles, home decor and groceries.

“In the pilot stores that will open in Lyon, some departments will go, some will merge and we will introduce some new ones,” Olofsson told the publication.