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Carrefour S.A.
Type Société Anonyme (Euronext: CA)
Founded 1957
Headquarters Levallois-Perret, France
Key people Lars Olofsson (CEO), Amaury de Sèze (Chairman)
Industry Retail
Services Discount, grocery and convenience stores, cash and carry, hypermarkets
Revenue 85.96 billion (2009)[1]
Operating income €1.705 billion (2009)[1]
Profit €385 million (2009)[1]
Employees over 495,000 (2009)[1]
Subsidiaries See below

Carrefour S.A. (Euronext: CA) (French pronunciation: [kaʁfuʁ]) is a French international hypermarket chain. Headquartered in Levallois-Perret, France,[2] Carrefour is the largest hypermarket chain in the world in terms of size, the second largest retail group in the world in terms of revenue and third largest in profit after Wal-Mart and Tesco. Carrefour operates mainly in Europe, China, Colombia, Brazil, Argentina and in the Dominican Republic, but also has shops in North Africa and other parts of Asia. Carrefour means "crossroads" in French.



Carrefour in Sibiu, Romania

The first Carrefour store opened on 3 June 1957, in suburban Annecy near a crossroads (carrefour in French). The group was created by Marcel Fournier, Denis Defforey and Jacques Defforey and grew into a chain from this first sales outlet. In 1999 it merged with Promodès, known as Continent, one of its major competitors in the French market.

Marcel Fournier, Denis Defforey and Jacques Defforey had attended several seminars in the United States led by "The Pope of modern distribution" Bernardo Trujillo, who influenced other famous French executives like Édouard Leclerc (E.Leclerc), Gérard Mulliez (Auchan), Paul Dubrule (Accor), and Gérard Pélisson (Accor). Their slogan was "No parking, no business."

The Carrefour group pioneered the concept of a hypermarket, a large supermarket and a department store under the same roof. They opened their first hypermarket 15 June 1963 in Sainte-Geneviève-des-Bois, near Paris in France.[3]

Carrefour's trading logo

In April 1976, Carrefour launched a private label Produits libres (free products -- libre meaning free in the sense of liberty as opposed to gratis) line of fifty foodstuffs, including oil, biscuits (crackers and cookies), milk, and pasta, sold in unbranded white packages at substantially lower prices.

In September of 2009, Carrefour updated its logo. [4]


  • Hypermarkets: "Choice and quality for everyone"
  • Hypermarkets: "Pentru o viaţă mai bună" (Romania); it means "For a better life"
  • Hypermarkets: "Ke Carrefour Aja Ahh...!!!" (Indonesia), literally means "Go to Carrefour (is better)...!!!"
  • Supermarkets: "The prices people want, close to home"
  • Hard Discount: "Grocery products at low, low prices"
  • Convenience Stores: "Just what you need, right next door"
  • Cash & Carry: "Proximity and accessibility for catering professionals"
  • Hypermarkets, Cash & Carry: "Καθε μέρα για σένα"(Cyprus) means "Every day, for you"

Carrefour around the world in September 2007

Countries where Carrefour Group is present.
     Directly owned
     Under franchise


  • In 1989, Carrefour became the first international retailer to establish a presence in Asia when it entered Taiwan through a joint venture with Uni President Enterprises Corporation. It leveraged the experience it gathered in Taiwan to expand into other Asian markets. Carrefour also operates in the United Arab Emirates and Jordan in a joint venture with Majid al Futtaim [2] . In March 2007 Carrefour opened a store in Kuwait in the Avenues mall . In Oman, Carrefour opened a store in 2003 on the outskirts of the city of Muscat. Carrefour also has 11 franchise operated hypermarkets in Saudi Arabia, with 5 of them being in the capital Riyadh itself. In 2007, expansion accelerated outside France, particularly in Asia, with the building of 36 new hypermarkets, including 22 in China - where the Group broke its record for store openings in a one-year period. Carrefour has also opened a franchise owned branch in the Bahrain City Centre in 2008.
Country First store Hypermarkets Supermarkets Hard Discounters
China 1995 156 - -
Indonesia 1998 61 14 -
Bahrain 2008 1 - -
Japan 2000 7 - -
Jordan 2007 1 - -
Kuwait 2007 2 - -
Malaysia 1994 12 - -
Oman 2000 2 - -
Pakistan 2009 1 - -
Iran 2009 1 - -
Qatar 2000 3 - -
Saudi Arabia 2004 11 - -
Singapore 1997 2 - -
Syria 2009 1 - -
Taiwan 1989 48 - -
Thailand 1996 39 - -
United Arab Emirates [3] 1995 11 2 -


Country First store Hypermarkets Supermarkets Hard Discounters
Morocco 2009 1 - -
Algeria 2005 Closed - -
Egypt 2002 5 1 -
Seychelles 2010 Under Construction - -
Tunisia 2001 1 2 -

Carrefour has left Algeria in 2009, and opened in Morocco.


Country First store Hypermarkets Supermarkets Hard Discounters Convenience Stores Cash & Carry
Belgium 2000 56 280 - 257 -
Bulgaria 2009 1 - - - -
Cyprus 2006 7 6 - - -
France 1960 218 1,021 897 3,245 134
Greece 1991 28 210 397 216 -
Italy 1993 59 485 - 1,015 20
Monaco - - 1 - - -
Poland 1997 72 277 - 5 -
Portugal 1991 - - 365 - -
Romania 2001 22 23 - - -
Spain 1973 161 87 2,912 3 -
Slovakia 1998 4 - - - -
Turkey 1993 19 99 519 - -
United Kingdom/Ireland - - - - - -

On October 15, 2009 Carrefour announced plans to sell its Russian business, citing "absence of sufficient organic growth and acquisition opportunities".[5]


  • Carrefour has a presence in 4 countries in the Americas: Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, and the Dominican Republic. Carrefour is active in 3 types of retail distribution: hypermarkets, supermarkets and hard discounters, and entered the Cash & Carry market in Brazil, after the purchase of Atacadão.[6] Carrefour was also active in Mexico between 1995 and 2005, when the 29 hypermarkets opened at the moment were sold to Chedraui.
Country First store Hypermarkets Supermarkets Hard Discounters Convenience Stores Cash & Carry
Argentina 1982 59 103 395 - -
Brazil 1975 150 38 300 5 34
Colombia 1998 57 - - - -
Dominican Republic 2000 5 10 - 20 85

Store brands


Carrefour, Atacadão, Hyperstar.


Carrefour Bairro, Carrefour Express, Carrefour Market (Formerly Champion as of 2008), Champion Mapinomovaoe, Globi, GB Supermarkets, GS, Carrefour mini, Gima.

Hard discount stores

Dia, Ed, Minipreço.

Convenience stores

Carrefour City, 5 minutes, 8 a HuiT, Marche Plus, Proxi (supermarket), Sherpa, Dìperdì, Smile Market, Ok!, Contact GB, GB Express, Shopi (supermarket).

Cash & Carry

Carrefour Contact, Promocash, Docks Market, Gross IPer.

Criticism and controversies

The Carrefour supermarket at Faa'a, Tahiti, French Polynesia

On May 1, 2007, more than 30 employees of the now closed Carrefour Ratu Plaza, Jakarta, Indonesia, were taken to the Central Pertamina Hospital (Rumah Sakit Pusat Pertamina), after being poisoned by CO2. The hypermarket was located on the mall's basement, which offered insufficient ventilation.[7]

On 26 June 2007 the company was convicted in a French court for false advertising. The suit alleged that Carrefour regularly stocked insufficient quantities of advertised products for sale. In addition, the company was convicted of selling products below cost and accepting kickbacks from wholesalers. Carrefour was ordered to pay a fine of €2 million and to prominently and legibly display a notice in all of its French stores disclosing the false advertising.[8]

In Carrefour Mangga Dua Square, Jakarta, Indonesia, a 5-metre high metal rack fell on top of a 3-year old boy, killing him almost instantly due to internal bleeding.[9] Afterwards, the victim's family claimed that Carrefour has refused to meet with them to settle the case.[10] However, Carrefour Corporate Affairs Officer denied this allegation[11]

Carrefour has also received criticism for engaging in sweatshop practices.[12]

On 7 May 2009, the French government asked a tribunal to fine Carrefour some €220,000 for more than 2,500 violations. Meat products lacked proper tracking information (more than 25% of inventory at some locations), and some products had incorrect labels — such as meat products that "shrank" in weight by 15% after receiving labels. The chain sold products that had long since passed their expiration dates, including, in one case, packs of baby formula that had expired six months earlier. Some 1,625 frozen and refrigerated products were found that had been stored in warehouses at ambient temperature.[13]

Boycott of supplies in China

A Carrefour outlet in Beijing, China promotes the use of canvas bags as opposed to plastic bags prior to the 2008 Summer Olympics.

In April 2008, after the 2008 Olympic torch relay was disrupted by Tibetan independence advocates in London and especially Paris, where some protesters attempted to wrest control of the torch from torch bearers, Chinese activists have promoted boycotting Carrefour because of its French roots.[14] The boycott of Carrefour in particular was further fueled by unsubstantiated rumours that a major shareholder, Moët Hennessy - Louis Vuitton, had donated to the Dalai Lama. In its response, Carrefour China stated that it does support the Beijing Olympics; and that they will never do anything to harm the feelings of Chinese people.[15] Protests occurred in and around a number of Carrefour outlets throughout China, and anti-Carrefour advocates campaigned for a one-day boycott of Carrefour on May Day, a public holiday in China.

As a result of the boycott, Chinese search engines and blocked access to Carrefour's website in China for a short time. Users searching 家乐福, Carrefour in Chinese, were given an error page indicating "The search result may contain illegal content, so we can not display the result." in Chinese.[16]

Former countries

Carrefour Visora Minoh store at Osaka Prefecture Minoh City, Japan
Carrefour Bangkok, Thailand
  • Chile ― In 2004, Carrefour sold its 8 hypermarkets in Chile to D&S;
  • Czech Republic and Slovakia — In September 2005, Carrefour sold to Tesco (the biggest UK retailer) 11 stores in the Czech Republic and four in Slovakia. Tesco paid 57.4 million as well as its stores in Taiwan. Carrefour had opened its first store in 1998 in the Czech Republic and in 2000 in Slovakia. The stores use the Tesco name and brand now;
  • Hong Kong — On September 18, 2000[17][18], Carrefour closed its stores in Hong Kong after complaints from manufacturers about selling products (especially electronics) at prices far below those of its competitors.[19][citation needed] A company spokesman said at that time that the closures were due to "difficulties in finding sites suitable for developing its hypermarket concept and quickly acquiring a significant market share". Carrefour had entered the Hong Kong market in December 1996 with a store in Heng Fa Chuen and had later added stores in Tsuen Wan, Tuen Mun and Yuen Long. Plans to open additional stores in Ma On Shan and Tseung Kwan O had been cancelled.[18]
  • Japan — In 2005, Carrefour sold its 8 hypermarkets to AEON Group, but stores still use the Carrefour name and brand;
  • Mexico — In March 2005, Carrefour sold its 29 hypermarkets in Mexico to Chedraui. Carrefour had opened its first store in 1995 in Mexico;
  • Portugal — Carrefour entered Portugal by buying its first stores in 1991 - two Euromaché hypermarkets, in Telheiras (a Lisbon neighbourhood) and Vila Nova de Gaia (suburbs of Porto); This chain was known to have very good quality products, mainly from French origin, when in July 2007 Carrefour sold all of its 12 hypermarkets and 9 fuel stations to Sonae for €662 million. Also included were 11 licenses for opening new commercial spaces. Nowadays only the 365 hard-discount supermarkets (Minipreço) are supported by Carrefour in this country, not included in the takeover.
  • Russia - Carrefour entered Russian market in Summer of 2009. In October of 2009, only a month after it opened its second hypermarket in the country, Carrefour announced it is exiting Russia.
Carrefour in Batu Pahat, Malaysia

See also


  1. ^ a b c d "Annual Results 2009" (PDF). Carrefour Group. Retrieved 2010-03-13. 
  2. ^ "Legal infos." Carrefour. Retrieved on 24 September 2009.
  3. ^ (French) Hugues Joublin, L'aventure du premier hyper, L'Expansion, 06/05/1993
  4. ^
  5. ^ "Resilient sales in a persistently changing environment". Carrefour. 2010, October 15. Retrieved 2010-10-15. 
  6. ^ Carrefour purchases Atacadão and becomes leader of the segment in Brazil - UOL (Portuguese)
  7. ^ [1]
  8. ^ (French) Carrefour condamné pour publicité mensongère
  9. ^ A 3-year old boy died when a metal rack fell onto him
  10. ^ Victims Family is Refused to Meet Carrefour Officials
  11. ^ Carrefour Officials deny refusing victim's family
  12. ^ Bangladesh - Carrefour has to do better
  13. ^ (French) Carrefour risque de payer 220.000€ d'amende
  14. ^ Carrefour faces China boycott bid
  15. ^ 家乐福中国对近日出现的一些不实传闻的声明
  16. ^ article dated April 30th, 2008
  17. ^ "France's Carrefour to close stores in H.K" Asian Economic News, Sept 4, 2000
  18. ^ a b "500 to lose jobs as Carrefour quits SAR", The Standard, August 30, 2000
  19. ^ Consumer Council - The Practice of Resale Price Maintenance in Hong Kong (September 2, 1997)
  20. ^ Carrefour sell its hypermarkets to Swiss retailer Coop for $390 million.

External links

Simple English







Carrefour SA

Type Public (Euronext: CA)
Founded 1957
Headquarters Paris, Caen (Promodès), France
Key people José Luis Duran
Industry Retail
Revenue 72,737.7 million (2006)[needs proof]
Operating income ? million (2006)
Net income €2,118.12 million (2006)
Employees 456,295 (2006)

Carrefour SA (IPA: /karfur/) is a French international hypermarket chain, with a global network of outlets. It is the second largest retail group in the world in terms of revenue and sales figures after Wal-Mart. Carrefour operates mainly in the European Union, Brazil, Argentina and Colombia, but also has shops in North Africa and Asia. Carrefour means cross-road in French.

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