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Carrefour aims to restore consumer buying power

RETAIL Carrefour (2)

In 2012 and 2013, Carrefour continued its efforts to restore consumer buying power and promote sustainable development
The world number two and European number one retail distributor, Carrefour, now has 10,102 stores employing a workforce of 365,000 in 34 countries. They include 1374 hypermarkets, 3435 supermarkets, 5121 neighbourhood stores and 172 cash-and-carries. The group generates 46% of its turnover in France, 27% in Europe outside France (Belgium, Spain, Italy, Poland, Romania and Turkey), 19% in Argentina and Brazil and 8% in China, India and Taiwan. Its turnover rose by 0.9% in 2012 to reach a pre-tax figure of €76.8 billion. In the first three quarters of 2013 the company’s sales increased by a further 1.8%. In 2012 and 2013, the Carrefour group returned to focusing on countries where it is in a strong position and has a multi-format profile, strengthening its business in France, Brazil and Argentina. It also built up its drive-in business, aiming for 400 drive-ins in France by the end of 2013 and opening the first drive-ins in Belgium and Spain.
For the past two years, Carrefour has been endeavouring to give its customers back their buying power. In France, it has been selling fruit and vegetables at under €1 and has introduced a “lowest price guarantee” for one fruit, one vegetable, one meat, one fish, one meat product and one cheese a day. If the customers find them more cheaply within a 15 km radius, Carrefour gives them double the difference. In Spain, it has been concentrating on bringing down prices for 4000 fresh products for the over-65s and large families. In Greece, Carrefour Marinopoulos offers a 10% discount on fresh products for large families and for old or unemployed people.
Quality and sustainable development
Carrefour has always favoured local supplies. Over 75% of its fresh products come from local suppliers and the group wants to strengthen its ultra-local initiatives. In 2012 the group also celebrated the 20th anniversary of its EQC (Engagement Qualité Carrefour – Carrefour quality commitment) supply chains. These currently involve over 25,000 farmers around the world who make it possible for Carrefour to offer core fresh products that meet strict requirements in terms of traceability, quality, taste and authenticity. The 430 products from these supply chains include a large number of fruit and vegetables. Carrefour also offers over 2000 organic food products under its own label. Its Carrefour Bio range grows year by year, with the accent on production methods that care for the environment, partnerships with local suppliers and low prices to bring the products within everybody’s reach. As part of its organic range reorganisation, embarked on in early 2013, the group has just launched its online store.
Another strong theme is sustainable development. Since 2006, Carrefour has been offering its suppliers a sustainable development checklist, developed with WWF France and Ademe, covering 49 criteria regarding their sustainable development policy and management and their environmental, social and financial performance. Since 2009 at has even been organising yearly Sustainable Development Trophies that reward and highlight the exemplary steps taken by four companies. Another core theme the group has been emphasizing even more in 2013 is cutting wastefulness and waste and preserving natural resources. The Carrefour foundation spent €2 million in 2013 on food aid projects. The group has also set up a structured supply chain waste management organisation that can add value in the supply chains, making it possible to achieve recycling levels of nearly 64%, or even 81% in France. VB