Carrefour has revealed plans to nearly quadruple its hypermarket operation in China.
During a recent analysts' visit to the country, the retailer outlined its ambition to add another 125 stores, to total 170. Goldman Sachs analysts believe the process will take between eight and 10 years.
Expansion will centre on Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou and Shenzhen, where the retailer wants between 40 and 45 hypermarkets.
Carrefour was reluctant to be drawn on its plans, because growth intentions have previously been disrupted by legislative changes.
It also aims to increase Dia c-store numbers from 40 to 700 by the end of 2007. Almost half will be in Shanghai.