Carrefour has struggled in its first quarter, partially because of strikes. Belgian turnover also slumped, but the company will go ahead with its announced transformation plan.
Retail group Carrefour managed a 20.766 billion euro turnover in the first quarter, down 2.4 % (+ 0.4 % on a like-for-like basis). It points to the competitiveness of its most important markets, less dynamic European sales because of the weak weather and “operational disturbances” in France and Belgium. In other words, there were strikes in these two countries after it had announced its new transformation plan.
Belgian turnover dropped 0.4 % to 1.022 billion euro (down 1.6 % on a like-for-like basis), following the strikes. France still managed a 0.9 % turnover growth, but its hypermarkets are still under a lot of pressure as opposed to the supermarkets and convenience stores, which generate growth. Italy struggled with disappointing sales, but Spain, Poland and Romania in particular performed very well. Brazilian and Chinese sales also continue to slump.
In its press release, Carrefour emphasizes it will now implement the first steps of its transformation plan. It has opened more convenience stores and Drive pick-up locations in France and also launched its mobile payment service Carrefour Pay. In September, it will transfer five hypermarkets to franchisees and expand its poultry blockchain technology to eight other product categories. Carrefour will also expand its non-antibiotics product range to eggs, salmon, veal and pork in Belgium, Poland and Spain. To speed up its conversion to more organic products, it entered a partnership with WWF.