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Carrefour to acquire Billa supermarkets in Romania

Carrefour says its planned acquisition of the Billa network in Romania would see it become the leading supermarket operator in the country.

Carrefour has announced an agreement to acquire the network of 86 Billa supermarkets in Romania from the Rewe group.

In a press release, Carrefour said the stores are spread throughout Romania, with a total sales area of 83,000 m2.

“Through this acquisition, Carrefour would become the leading supermarket operator in Romania, strengthening its multiformat offer to better serve its clients. The completion of this transaction remains subject to approval by the relevant antitrust authorities,” it said.

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Carrefour opens 4th distribution centre in China

December 2, 2015, the grand opening ceremony of Carrefour supply chain in China-North-West China distribution center is held in Wuqing Economic Development Area, Tianjin municipality

Carrefour has consolidated its supply chain in China with the December 2 grand opening of its North-West China distribution centre in the Tianjin municipality.

The centre is intended to be a bridge for Carrefour China’s supply chain in northern China, radiating out to the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei integration economic cycle and Shandong, Shanxi and other provinces’ logistics and distribution network. It is also designed to increase distribution efficiency, support the business of stores, and boost regional economics.

Located in ProLogis modern international distribution park, Wuqing economic development area, in the Tianjin municipality, Carrefour’s northern distribution centre covers 39,000 m2.

It will use the Voice Picking System, achieving 99.997% in its picking accuracy rate. The trays utilise 100cm*120 standard operating procedure to reduce packaging and labour costs and improve efficiency; moreover, the centre is equipped with professional temperature controlled room which sustain temperatures of 18-22 degrees for the storage of alcohol, chocolate and milk powder.

The northern China distribution centre will cover more than 30 stores in northern China, greatly improving the company’s northern China supply chain system to provide more high-quality, convenient products and services for numbers of consumers, Carrefour said in a press release.

After the establishment of the distribution centre in Eastern, western and northern region, it plans to set up 2 new distribution centres in North-East Territory and South Territory of China.

By the end of 2016, Carrefour estimates it will have completed the establishment of 6 modern distribution centres in China, covering more than 200 hypermarkets in China to fully support its emerging businesses such as its e-commerce operations and “easy Carrefour” convenience stores.

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Carrefour open its first City store in a French airport

Carrefour’s first City convenience store located in a French airport is based in the departures lounge of Paris-Orly’s south terminal. Open 6am–10pm, 7 days a week, it stocks nearly 3,000 items.

Carrefour has opened its first City convenience store located in a French airport.

Based in the departures lounge of Paris-Orly’s south terminal, the new outlet has 200 m² of sales area and stocks nearly 3,000 items.

In a press release, Carrefour Group said the store – open 6am–10pm, 7 days a week – features:

  • a wide selection of organic products, as well as hot and cold snacks and gluten-free products
  • Carrefour brand products – including a special area for Reflets de France regional products – as well as national brand products
  • on-site bread slicing
  • the same prices as those found in town centre City stores

Carrefour said the Orly City store features a wide selection of products to meet customers’ day-to-day shopping needs, as well as what they need to eat on-the-go: grocery products, fruit and vegetables, home maintenance products, ready-to-cook/eat products, snacks, etc. It said the store will also contribute to the airport’s business dynamic and help local employment – 6 employees will be recruited from neighbouring towns.

“By entering into this new partnership and including a leading name that has become synonymous with retail in France, Aéroports de Paris is seeking to provide travellers and visitors – as well as the airport’s employees and partners – with as broad a range of stores as possible. We want to ensure that our airports are accessible to all of our customers,” said Aéroports de Paris CEO Augustin de Romanet.

According to Carrefour CEO Georges Plassat: “This initiative that we have launched with Aéroports de Paris is a shining example of Carrefour’s unique multi-format profile. In many countries, we anticipate our customers’ needs, creating stores that are specifically designed to meet their requirements, selling products and providing services designed to make their lives easier.”


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Carrefour expands convenience format in Shanghai

Carrefour launched its second Easy Carrefour store in Shanghai on June 30. The new proximity format store is located on Chaling North Road, Xuhui District.

Carrefour launched its second Easy Carrefour store in Shanghai on June 30.

The new proximity format store is located on Chaling North Road, Xuhui District.

In a press release, the French retail group said its Easy Carrefour format “is an innovation as well as a breakthrough in profitable mode. In recent years, Carrefour has been trying various ways to open up a larger market, including eCommerce and convenient stores,” it said.

Carrefour’s proximity stores sell takeaway food

Easy Carrefour stores cover up to 280m2, with two levels. The first floor offers fast food, cooked food, dairy products, salads, and semi-cooked food, as well as shampoo and washing powder and some French brands. On the second floor there is an open space with free Wi-Fi  where customers can stay for a rest or to have a meal, Carrefour said.

China expected to be growth leader

On announcing its third quarter results last year, Carrefour said it was continuing its expansion in China despite “a frugal consumption environment.”

Carrefour was the first retailer to open a hypermarket in China – in 1995, in Beijing. It now manages about 240, across 73 cities there.

A hypermarkert opened by Carrefour in China in December

Carrefour CEO Georges Plassat has said Carrefour plans to continue expanding its market share in China, focusing on “newly developing urban areas.” Both China and Brazil “will continue to be growth leaders for the future. Income levels will increase substantially in emerging countries, which should bolster our business over the medium term.”

According to China Daily USA, Carrefour is expected to open 15 new hypermarkets in China this year and roll out more convenience stores.

source: Carrefour

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Vote today on EU clamp down on plastic carrier bags

Draft rules requiring EU countries to cut use of the most polluting plastic bags will be put to a vote in Strasbourg today

Draft rules requiring EU countries to cut use of the most polluting plastic bags will be put to a vote in Strasbourg today.

With pollution of water bodies and aquatic ecosystems a major environmental problem, the law would require EU member states to choose between two options:

  • take measures to ensure that average yearly consumption does not exceed 90 lightweight bags per citizen by 2019 and 40 by 2025, or
  • ensure that, by 2018, these bags are not handed to shoppers free of charge.

According to the European Parliament website, in 2010, every EU citizen used an estimated 198 plastic carrier bags, some 90% of which were lightweight. Estimates suggest more than eight billion plastic carrier bags became litter in the EU the same year.

Carrefour also seeking alternatives to plastic bags for loose fruit and vegetables

French retail giant Carrefour said in its recently published 2014 annual report that it stopped handing out free plastic bags in 2012 in consolidated stores in all its countries except Argentina and Brazil, where the process is underway.

“In anticipation of future European regulations, the Group is working to identify alternatives to the plastic bags currently used for loose purchases of fruits and vegetables,” it also said.

source: EU Parliament

image: By Trosmisiek (Public domain) via Wikimedia Commons

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Carrefour reports first quarter sales growth of 3.2%

France’s Carrefour has reported organic sales growth of 3.2% for the first quarter of 2015 with total sales of €21 billion.

France’s Carrefour has reported organic sales growth of 3.2% for the first quarter of 2015 with total sales of €21 billion.

Also compared to the first quarter of 2014, the hypermarket group’s organic sales (ex calendar and ex petrol) in France were up 2.6% to €9.5 billion, while its international sales grew at a slightly higher rate, 3.6%, to €11.5 billion.

Convenience and other formats confirmed their momentum with organic growth of 6.2% while in hypermarkets it was 2.2% and supermarkets 2.0%.

source: Carrefour


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EU competition watchdog to check if Carrefour breaching rules

The European Commission is looking into whether Carrefour’s policy of offering only “France Origin” seasonable vegetables in nearly 1,200 of its stores in France breaches competition rules.

The European Commission is looking into whether French retail giant Carrefour’s new policy of offering only ‘France Origin’ seasonable vegetables in nearly 1,200 of its stores in France may breach competition rules.

Margrethe Vestager, European commissioner for Competition, said the Commission is currently looking into the issues and liaising with the French competition authority.

“It appears from the press release issued in November that Carrefour and France’s federation of vegetable producers announced a new partnership agreement to offer only ‘France Origin’ seasonable vegetables in Carrefour’s 1,200 retail stores in France.”

“It is a priority of the Commission to protect the internal market and avoid restrictions of competition to the detriment of the consumer. It appears from the announcement in question that imported products will not be sold in Carrefour’s shops in France. In order to investigate whether the situation, and in particular this partnership, entails a breach of competition rules a number of facts would need to be ascertained.”

“The Commission is currently looking into these issues and liaising with the French competition authority,” she said.

Dutch MEP asks what what action will be taken if rules are being broken

Vestager was responding to a written question from Dutch MEP Jan Huitema (ALDE), who began by saying that the Carrefour announcement in November that in the next 10 months it would purchase fruit and vegetables only from French producers, meant imports of produce from other EU Member States would be blocked.

“Carrefour sees this as a means of supporting French farmers who have been hit by the Russian boycott, adverse weather conditions and low prices,” Huitema said, but he went on to ask, “if Carrefour is breaching EU competition rules with the measure and undermining free trade within the European Union.”

“What measures will the Commission take if it turns out that Carrefour has broken the rules and when will the Commission take action?” he also wrote.

Carrefour says “first of its kind” move aimed at helping French growers

In a November press release, Carrefour said  its agreement with France’s federation of vegetable producers to offer only France Origin seasonable vegetables was the “first of its kind” and “consistent with the group’s ongoing commitment to supporting farming and to working in close partnership with farmers. It will also apply to spring and summer vegetables.”

“Following the highly unusual weather conditions that 2014 has seen, together with the serious disruptions that have resulted from the sanctions imposed on Russia, Carrefour – in partnership with Légumes de France – has decided to support French producers of everyday vegetables and promote production in France of carrots, potatoes, onions, turnips, chicory, shallots, etc. while they are in season.”

“This commitment covers all of the group’s Carrefour hypermarkets and Carrefour Market supermarkets in France – a total of nearly 1200 stores. And so that customers know what exactly they’re buying, special signage will be used to identify all France Origin products,” Carrefour said.

Read more about the Carrefour Group on p26-27 of our latest edition, number 135.

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