Carrefour French revolution
After several years of humming and hawing in its inimitable Gallic way, Carrefour appears ready to enter the turbid waters of retailing in sub-Saharan Africa. It intimated as much at a strategic presentation, when it revealed that its ambition was to expand into the region, including one day, perhaps South Africa – although in this latter regard, it must be emphasised, there are no immediate plans. So far the French giant has 331 stores on the continent, including a hyper in Abidjan, and has rights to open in seven other countries, through its franchise partner Majid Al Futtaim. It also opened a store last year in Nairobi, Kenya, which is one of Africa’s fastest-growing retail markets. Speak to an analyst, and they’ll probably tell you that Carrefour is likely to be interested in less-developed markets.
Comment: It will be interesting to see how Carrefour shapes up against more established players in these parts – notably Shoprite with its African infrastructure and multi-country, multi-city experience.