Blog: Carrefour's transformation continues...

Michelle Russell | 25 August 2010

The launch of Carrefour’s new concept stores yesterday (24 August) is a fresh sign that the French retail giant is attempting to revive flagging European sales.

The ‘planet’ test stores, located in Ecully and Venissieux, which opened to customers today, have been redesigned and adapted more to customers’ needs, the retailer said, offering everything from cookery demonstrations to hairdressing.

As just-food editor Dean Best pointed out last month, for Carrefour watchers, these are uncertain times.

In the retailer’s second quarter results in July, like-for-like sales, excluding fuel, were down 1.1%.

The retailer claimed some progress in France, pointing to a 1.8% increase in like-for-like sales, excluding fuel, from its Carrefour Market banner.

However, elsewhere in Europe, Carrefour still faces challenges. Its second-quarter like-for-like sales in Spain were down 5.5%, excluding fuel, and in Belgium, like-for-like sales fell 8.6%.

Nonetheless, it is clear Carrefour still has an eye on expansion outside of Europe with the announcement of an acquisition of a majority stake in Chinese hypermarket operator Baolongcang last month.

And today, reports continue to suggest the firm is looking to dispose of its business in Malaysia in a bid to consolidate its business and concentrate on the booming Indian market.

So for now, Carrefour watchers will have to sit tight while the retailer continues with its much-heralded transformation programme.


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