From September, the group will start a two-year project to rebrand all its Champion stores to either Carrefour or Carrefour Market. The move follows trials in Spain, Argentina, Poland, Brazil and Turkey.
Carrefour said feedback from the trial stores was positive, resulting in an increase in store visits. About 100 stores will be rebranded by the end of this year, a further 700 by the end of next year and the remaining stores by mid-2010. The 420 franchise stores have been given the option to switch to the new branding.
Bernstein European food analyst Christopher Hogbin said the trial stores delivered like-for-like sales growth of 10 per cent, ahead of the 3.8 per cent reported for Carrefour’s French supermarket business in the first quarter of this year and 4.6 per cent for the fourth quarter of last year.
However, he warned: “Carrefour will need the co-operation of unions to complete the conversion and still needs franchisees to agree to convert their stores. There is also potential cannibalisation of hypermarkets and the economic uplift of trial stores may not be replicated.”