Carrefour has opened a store in Paris dedicated to organic products under the 'Carrefour Bio' banner and is also working on a plan to expand its Brazilian and Chinese businesses by early 2014. The store, on Boulevard Diderot, opened 20 March and has a sales area of 170 square meters (1,829 square feet), with 2,000 SKUs made up of organic fruit and vegetables, bread, fresh meat and private label organic products.
Carrefour Bio uses eco-friendly refrigerators and chilled units that reduce energy consumption with features such as closed doors on cold storage units and LED lighting. The store offers recyclable plastic bags, reusable cotton shopping bags and paper bags for fruit and vegetables. Shoppers can also buy in bulk from the store.
Speaking to the Financial Times, Carrefour CEO George Plassat said that the group is working on an expansion project for the two markets, which could be completed by early 2014. “Our rate of growth in these regions is probably insufficient. We are working on a strategy; these are big countries and there are lots of possibilities. I hope the plan will be ready by the beginning of next year,” he said.
Brazil and China are Carrefour’s second and fifth-largest markets by sales respectively. While sales in Latin America, including Argentina, increased 14% last year, they fell 10% in Asia, which includes Taiwan and a small business in India. Mr. Plassat attributes much of that decline to China’s slowing economy and leadership change. “The Chinese economy is now focusing more on its interior and that’s where our future lies,” he said.
In February, the French giant announced a restructuring of its domestic operations to be implemented by May, including the division of its hypermarket business into four regional segments.