Carrefour recently lost 86 supermarkets in Belgium to Intermarché, but sees opportunities to return to growth and accelerate its expansion rate. This will be through franchising, CEO Geoffroy Gersdorff explains.
Opportunities for expansion
Losing its main franchise partner in Belgium, Carrefour saw 86 supermarkets or almost a fifth of its Carrefour Market stores go to its French rival Intermarché. Nevertheless, Gerdorff is not too disturbed by this setback. “This offers opportunities for future expansion“, he told La Libre.
Not that he wants to replace all the lost Mestdagh shops, but he does want to accelerate the current annual expansion rate of five Carrefour Markets and about twenty Express convenience stores. That expansion will be through franchising, Gersdorff confirmed. More than 600 of the 705 of Belgium’s Carrefour shops are operated by franchisees.
Growth should not only come from physical shops, but also from the internet: Carrefour wants to become a ‘digital retail company’. The group’s e-commerce offer is already very varied, with click&collect, home delivery by van or electric cargo bike, and quick commerce in cooperation with Deliveroo , UberEats and Just Eat Takeaway.
Carrefour is also going digital in the ‘back office’. One eye-catching initiative is the digitisation of the leaflet: in Brussels and Antwerp, the retailer is already saving 500,000 paper leaflets a week. Eight more cities will be added by the end of the month.