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Carrefour Explains Expansion Plans

Carrefour has reiterated its plans to achieve international growth through acquisition or partnership in key markets Brazil, China, Indonesia and Turkey, as well as returning to plans to enter the Russian market.In Europe, the retailer hopes to rejuvenate

Carrefour has reiterated its plans to achieve international growth through acquisition or partnership in key markets Brazil, China, Indonesia and Turkey, as well as returning to plans to enter the Russian market.

In Europe, the retailer hopes to rejuvenate its hypermarkets with a new Carrefour Planet format. The anticipated revamped hypermarket is being piloted in five stores in France, Italy, Spain, Belgium and Greece. The new stores move away from a layout of aisles and shelves, in favor of pods and dedicated areas, including organic produce, children's clothes, frozen food and cosmetics. There are also sushi stands, cookery lessons, hairdressers, a day care center and some outsourcing, including Apple stores and Virgin Group for entertainment. European hypermarkets have been in decline for more than a decade, but still account for 40 percent of group sales.

The announcement came as Europe's largest retailer by sales announced net profit of €82 million ($104 million) in the six months to June 30.

"Carrefour's renewal is under way," says Lars Olofsson, Carrefour's chief executive officer. He said he would like to re-enter Russia, where half the market is already in the hands of international retailers, including Auchan, its domestic rival, and Germany's Metro.

"If we go back into Russia, it will be through an acquisition," he adds. "I pulled out last year because you can't win with little guns when big cannons are against you."

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