Company: Carrefour SA
Brand value: US$6,836 million
Headquarter city: Boulogne-Billancourt
Year formed: 1959
Carrefour is the French retailer that pioneered the concept of the hypermarket – combining supermarket and department store – and took it to the world. It has more than 5,600 stores across France in a range of formats, including hypermarkets, supermarkets, convenience stores and cash-and-carry outlets. The brand is highly active in Europe, Asia and Latin America, and has over 12,000 stores globally, making it one of the largest retail chains in the world.
The brand is best known as a value for money retailer with a broad selection of products and brands in its stores, but it is also seeking to deepen its role in e-commerce and position itself as an innovator. In 2017, Carrefour acquired Rue du Commerce, one of the leading French e-commerce brands, and it has announced plans to raise its investment in online retailing by a significant amount by 2020. It marked a first in French retailing when it became the first supermarket to use virtual reality in stores; to mark its anniversary month in late 2016, it offered low-priced virtual reality glasses and in-store content to showcase the technology.
Alexandre Bompard was announced as Carrefour’s new CEO in mid-2017. He is credited with the digital transformation of another French retail chain, Fnac, and is expected to lead a digital push at Carrefour. In its communications, Carrefour explores the themes of optimism and optimization, encouraging consumers to be positive, and to do more with less – reducing waste and consuming more efficiently, without compromising on taste or quality. A recent campaign uses a child’s voice and energetic music over a succession of fleeting images showing key life moments in a lively, optimistic way. Carrefour is listed on the Euronext Paris.