Founded in 1959, Carrefour is the front-runner in the hypermarkets industry. Currently, it is the biggest retailer in Europe, and the second biggest international retailing company group in the world. Carrefour was listed in the Paris Stock Exchange in 1970. It now has more than 11,000 operational and retailing units in over 30 countries and districts. It has three main types of operational units: hypermarkets, supermarkets, and discount stores. Also, it has convenience stores and membership discount stores in some countries.
According to 2006 statistics, Carrefour had 456,295 employees. It is the biggest food retailer in the world, and the biggest foreign retailer in China.
Carrefour’s operating strategy is to provide all kinds of consumer goods for reasonable prices and excellent services in a comfortable purchasing environment. It is committed to satisfying consumer need in aspects such as price, goods varieties, goods qualities, services, and convenience.
Carrefour’s current state in China
Carrefour entered the Chinese market in 1995 when it opened the first hypermarket in Beijing(北京). In the following years, Carrefour opened more hypermarkets in Shanghai(上海), Shenzhen(深圳), Tianjin(天津), Chongqing(重庆), Zhuhai(珠海), Wuhan(武汉), and Dongguan(东莞). Rapidly expanding its influence in the Chinese hypermarket industry. By November 2011, Carrefour had 198 stores in mainland China.
Carrefour’s commitment to China
To successfully develop its business in China, Carrefour has made several commitments to China. First, it plans to introduce its advanced operating equipment from abroad to increase to GDP and to the country’s fiscal income. Second, it focuses on improving and raising the living standards of Chinese citizens. Third, it wants to create more job opportunities for people in China and more chances for them to develop their careers. Fourth, it plans to establish partnerships with domestic suppliers and help them understand the market demand and optimize their production. This will contribute to China’s manufacturing industry. Fifth, Carrefour plans to purchase as many Chinese domestic goods as it can and export them to its other branches in the world. Lastly, it plans to actively participate in public welfare activities in China.
Food quality issues in China
Currently, Carrefour’s business in China is operating on a huge scale and thus has been experiencing some difficulties.
On March 15, 2012, it was reported that the Carrefour in Zhengzhou(郑州) sold re-packaged expired food. On April 18, 2012,a Weibo(微博) user posted on her microblog that the codfish she bought for her baby at Carrefour turned out to be Ruvettus pretiosus, which is a poisonous variety of fish that is forbidden to enter the food market in Europe. On June 17,2012 in Wuhan(武汉), Carrefour was accused of price cheating.
Carrefour, despite its recent success, has to cope with these problems and pay closer attention to the quality of its goods if it wants to maintain a good reputation in the eyes of Chinese consumers.
Credit Photo: Nipic