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Majid Al Futtaim has outlined plans to invest PKR40bn (US$256.1m) in Pakistan.
French grocery retailer Carrefour has signed an agreement to sell 80% stake of its China operations to Suning.com in a deal worth about US$700m.
The transaction is expected to close by the end of 2019, subject to regulatory approval. Carrefour will retain a 20% stake in the business and two out of seven seats on Carrefour China’s Supervisory Board. However, the agreement allows Carrefour to sell the remaining 20% of its stake, suggesting an interest to exit the market entirely.
Suning is a Chinese electronics retailer and ecommerce player. It operates more than 8,881 stores in more than 700 cities and one of the country’s largest B2C ecommerce platform. Suning said yesterday in filing to Shenzhen stock exchange, “the stake acquisition will allow Suning.com to strengthen its brand, as well as boosting its marketing capabilities, food quality control and supply chain management in the fast-moving sector”.
Carrefour has been in China since 1995 but it has been struggling to grow in recent years amid fierce local competition and the rise of ecommerce channel. The retailer operates 210 hypermarkets and 24 convenience stores.
Keep up-to-date with the latest retail developments from Asia.
Carrefour China has been doing whatever it takes to revitalise its business to stay ahead amid fierce competition from both local bricks and mortar players and the ecommerce giants. The retailer has reported significant improvement (over €100m) in its recurring operating income in its Asia business in the last two years, mainly driven by Carrefour China.
What has worked for Carrefour China?
The retailer has benefited from its strategy on expanding new formats, digital revolution, testing and building partnerships and increasing productivity:
How can suppliers grow with retailers in transformation?
Like Carrefour China, many retailers in Asia are going through or starting their transformation journey. It tremendously changes the way retailers operate their businesses and how they work with suppliers. There are a few key areas suppliers need to consider when collaborating with retailers during such transformation.
A successful retail transformation begins at the top, with the support from senior leaders. The suppliers need to involve their senior leadership and be more deliberate on their resource allocation when collaborating with retailers that are going through such transformation.
The company announced its annual results for 2018. Growth from its China business was substantial, with operating income up by 11 times year-on-year, reaching RMB350m (US$52.2m).
Digitisation, acceleration of online to offline and format transformation are cited by Carrefour as its success drivers in China. Carrefour said it would stick to the “multiformat and omnichannel” development strategy as retailers are embracing innovative models to retain consumers and drive incremental sales. Below, we review several Carrefour China’s key initiatives.
Source: IGD Research
Carrefour’s Le Marché supermarket is the embodiment of high-tech omnichannel retailing. With a strong focus on fresh produce range, Le Marché employs a series of smart technologies to provide a smoother and more convenient shopping experience for customers in store, including:
There are currently two Le Marché stores in China. The first one was opened in March 2018 in Shanghai. The second one in Shenzhen was launched only two months ago in January 2019. IGD Asia has visited the store. Subscribers can view our store visit here.
Since its launch in 2018, Carrefour China’s “Carrefour Pay” has more than 14mn users. By the end of last year, Scan & Go technology via WeChat, has been deployed in all Carrefour offline stores in China. By end of this month (March 2019), selfserve check-out is to be rolled out nationwide.
Carrefour’s online platform, Carrefour Online Mall, now covers more than 50 cities across the country. Shoppers can also access it via WeChat mini programme. The retailer teamed up with online-to-offline platforms such as Meituan, Ele.me and JD Daojia to offer express delivery. In addition, Carrefour opened its flagship store on Tmall last year, expecting to further drive its online sales.
The company now has six modern logistics distribution centres nationwide, which gives it a nationwide coverage, allowing better resource integration of online and offline. The retailer’s goal is to reduce transportation and distribution costs in first and second tier cities, whilst improve assortment and increase product range in third and fourth tier cities.
Carrefour and Gome, one of China’s largest privately owned electrical appliance retailers, formed a partnership in 2018. The first 11 stores were opened under this partnership in four cities, Beijing, Shanghai, Wuxi and Hangzhou.
“China is a retailing laboratory for the world,” said Thierry Garnier, president and CEO of Carrefour China. “For Carrefour, China is a specific market that has helped us to learn and to understand the future.”
The company currently has 245 outlets in China. Globally, Carrefour increased its sales by 1.4 per cent to reach €85bn.
Carrefour has opened its second Le Marché supermarket in Shenzhen, China.
After launching its first Le Marché supermarket in Shanghai in April last year, Carrefour has now opened a second store in Shenzhen. In the new store is a Fresh Workshop area, providing shoppers convenience and fun. It combines retail and foodservice, allowing customers to purchase fresh and live seafood and have it prepared so they can dine in-store.
It is not surprising to see Le Marché open in Shenzhen, having agreed an alliance to partner and collaborate with Tencent to work together on data, smart retail and payment technology this time last year - it is also where the the tech giant is headquartered.
Subscribers can view our Carrefour Le marché store visit here.
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