Blue Square, one of Israel’s leading food retailers, is in advanced negotiations with the French retailer Casino for a strategic partnership, according to Globes News. According to the pending agreement, and based on a memorandum of understanding, Blue Square will initially receive a franchise for the private label of Casino’s subsidiary, Leader Price. As part of the agreement, according to the report, Co-op Blue Square will import Leader Price merchandise, which includes over 2,500 food and non-food lines. “The franchise will also include the Palestinian Authority, if and when the chain launches operations there,” according to the memorandum of understanding.

The report stipulates that the strategic partnership with Casino is also likely to lead to partnership in the company, “once the parent company, the Co-Op Blue Square Consumer Cooperative Society, which holds 80% of Blue Square Israel, completes its privatisation process.”

Leader Price is a subsidiary of the Casino chain, the second largest retailer in France. “Blue Square Israel is about to utilise its private label franchise to significantly strengthen its activity in this field in the Super Center and Mega branches,” Globes said. The Israeli supermarket chain has set a target of 10% market of private label sales, compared with current sales of only 4%. Its private label range now includes canned goods, ketchup and snacks.

By Aaron Priel, correspondent