French retail giant Carrefour has said it is to enter the Scandinavian market through a franchise partnership with Norwegian grocer NorgesGruppen.

As part of the tie-up, NorgesGruppen will operate stores under Carrefour’s banners, particularly its Champion supermarket banner, while Carrefour will supply groceries to the Norwegian company, Dow Jones International News reported.

Carrefour said the partnership was effective immediately and does not involve any changes in ownership structure. Financial details of the deal were not provided.

With annual revenue of nearly €70bn (US$82.5bn), Carrefour is the world’s second-largest retailer, but has not yet ventured into the Scandinavian market.

NorgesGruppen has a 34% share of the Norwegian market, and registered 2002 revenue of NOK24.8bn (US$3.6bn). The company operates almost 2,000 stores, including hypermarkets and smaller kiosk stores. NorgesGruppen will begin switching its 137 supermarkets to Carrefour’s Champion banner from next year, Dow Jones said.