Telemarket, the online grocery unit of French retailer Galeries Lafayette,
insists it is not up for sale but is seeking a partner for its business.
The group has hired Deutsche Morgan Grenfell to ‘help it explore ways
to develop’ leading to speculation that it might be up for sale. Supermarket
companies Casino Guichard Perrachon, Auchan and Carrefour
are expected to take an interest in securing the Telemarket business to complement
their own existing online operations. Foreign retailers Wal-Mart, Tesco
and Ahold have also been mentioned as possible contenders.
Casino is expected to lead the chase for Telemarket despite running its own
online business, C-mescourses. Casino already has a 15% stake in Telemarket
and is keen to consolidate its share in the market that includes three other
major participants: Houra, owned by retailer Cora, Carrefour’s
Ooshop and Auchan Direct. Casino has already indicated it is seeking
further synergies with Telemarket.