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Carrefour veers towards ecommerce

Thursday 25 January 2018 | 12:46 PM CET

Carrefour is planning ecommerce growth through layoffs and business partnership with Tencent to better compete with international online retailers and marketplaces.

Carrefour plans to invest EUR 2.8 billion (USD 3.4 billion) in digital commerce by 2022, six times its current investment to get an edge in online food retail.

The announced cost savings of EUR 2 billion by 2020 will include a voluntary redundancy plan for 2,400 employees at its French head office and plans to sell or close 273 underperforming stores Carrefour bought from Spanish retailer Dia in 2014.

The group, with more than 380,000 employees, is targeting EUR 5 billion in sales in food ecommerce by 2022 - an amount which would represent a 20% market share in France.

Carrefour’s online sales accounted for just 1.7% of its total French food sales in 2016, while Leclerc managed 8%, according to analysts at brokerage Bernstein.

Carrefour has struggled for years to reduce its reliance on hypermarkets, particularly in France, where it makes 47% of its sales.

The French retailer alos announced a potential deal with Tencent and local retailer Yonghui to take a stake in Carrefour China. Carrefour would still be the largest shareholder.

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