Carrefour is a multinational retailer headquartered in France. It is the largest hypermarket chain in the world and is the 4th largest in the world. The major countries of its operation are Europe, Brazil, China, UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar. The company started its operations in 1958 on the first day of the year. It converted to a chain of stores soon after its first outlet. Georges Plassat is the chairman and CEO of the company.
The group of Carrefour was the first in itself to open a hypermarket in Europe. The first supermarket was opened in France in 1968. In 1976, the company launched a private product line of 50 food stuffs including milk, biscuits and pasta. Carrefour followed different slogans all over the years from its foundation. The slogans have been different from France in other countries.
The head office of this company is located in France, but it operates in some of the other countries as well like Albania, Austria, Bulgaria, Belgium and Brazil, China, Egypt, Georgia, India, Iran, Indonesia, Japan, Jordan, Kuwait, Malaysia, Morocco, Macedonia, Pakistan, Portugal, Taiwan, Turkey, UAE and United Kingdom. Carrefour sold all the 16 stores in Korea in order to exit the country. Even the Czech stores were sold in the same year. In the year 2010, the company took a strong decision to leave some of the countries like Thailand, Singapore and Malaysia. But later on the operations in Malaysia and Singapore were continued. The company is also a popular chain in America. There are around 3 types of retail distribution of the company. Hypermarkets, supermarkets and hard discounters are the distribution units of the company.
The brands popular in hypermarkets are Atacadao, Carrefour and Hyper star. The supermarket brands of the company include Carrefour Bairro, Globi, GS, Gima, Carrefour Mini, etc. Hard discount stores include Dia, ED and Minipreco.
Carrefour faced many controversies till now. One of them was in the year 2007 when around 30 employees were taken to the hospital as they got affected by CO2. It was later found that the basement of one of the malls had insufficient ventilation. The company was even accused of false advertising.
The company faced a boycott of supplies in China as well. As a result, the Chinese search engines were stopped to access the Carrefour website in China. The government stated that there may be some illegal content on the website, so it should not be displayed to the Chinese public. The retail giant then sold its 8 stores in Chile to the Walmart Chile in the year 2004. The company also sold the 11 stores in the Czech Republic to Tesco. Later the company closed stores in Hongkong in the year 2000. Carrefour then sold its stores in many countries like Japan, Mexico, Portugal, Russia, South Korea, Switzerland, UK and USA. The profit incurred by the company as of 2012 was 1.233 billion European pounds. Carrefour holds a total of 361 billion pounds equity in the market.