International Retailers The French Connection
We had no idea that Canadian outfit Alimentation Couche-Tard were looking to acquire a majority stake in French giant Carrefour, for the princely sum of $20bn, but there you have it. And now, as it happens, the French government (in France they call it ‘le Government’) has gone and scuppered the deal (sacre bleu!) on the grounds that the deal would threaten French job security and food sovereignty. And we know how very, very seriously the French take the sovereignty of their food. The two retailers are now exploring operational partnerships as a consolation prize. In the US, Walmart are beginning to offer COVID vaccinations in the states of Illinois, New Jersey, Georgia, Indiana, Louisiana, Maryland, South Carolina and Texas, as well as Puerto Rico, in the absence of anything resembling a rollout plan.
Comment: There, as here, it seems, the private sector has an outsize role to play in the delivery of essential services.