French retail group Casino is planning to open 500 convenience stores under its Casino Proximité umbrella brand next year which spans its Petit Casino, Spar, Spar Supermarché and Vival chains.

It said the expansion of its French network will represent the creation of more than 1,000 jobs.

The unit already operates a total of almost 7,000 stores, including more than 2,500 outlets (Spar and Vival) under franchise and serves 2m customers on a daily basis.

Earlier this year, in order to facilitate its recruitment needs, Casino Proximité increased training and support provision for non-salaried franchise managers.

This sees the retailer accompanying candidates over a periods ranging from one year to five years during which time they learn all aspects of managing a company as well as accumulating points which can be converted into financial capital and can serve to fund loans to create their own businesses.

Casino Proximité, which has been headed by Jean-Pierre Lanzetti, since November 2009, and claims to account for 45% of France’s ‘mini-supermarkets’ and 31% of convenience stores.