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CARREFOUR’S SPANISH FOOTPRINT: Carrefour, the world’s second-largest retailer behind Wal-Mart, on Monday strengthened its position in the competitive Spanish market by buying 250 hard discount stores. The French firm said it would acquire the Plus store chain from Spain’s Tengelmann for 200 million euros, or about $275.6 million at current exchange. The transaction was conducted through Carrefour’s Dia subsidiary, which already runs 2,806 stores in the country with sales last year of 3.5 billion euros, or $4.45 billion. Carrefour has struggled in France because of cooled consumer spending and discount competition. The firm has been unloading less-profitable operations in Japan, South Korea and Mexico, while bulking up in promising markets. In April, Carrefour bought 34 discount hypermarkets in Brazil for more than $1 billion.

This story first appeared in the July 17, 2007 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

H&M JUNE SALES: Hennes & Mauritz on Monday said sales in June advanced 17 percent, edging most analysts’ consensus expectations. On a like-for-like basis, the Swedish fast-fashion firm said sales grew 5 percent. Last month, H&M’s like-for-like sales declined 2 percent. At the end of June, H&M had 1,420 stores.

GALERIES LAFAYETTE ACQUISITION: Groupe Galeries Lafayette, the French department store operator, said Monday that it acquired two watch chains — Louis Pion and Royal Quartz — from France’s Groupe Sofidi for an undisclosed sum. The transaction bolsters Galeries’ watch distribution network, which already counts 110 Watch Me, EuropaQuartz and Goldy stores. Louis Pion and Royal Quartz, which stock luxury and fashion watches, operate 20 stores, mostly in Paris and French airports. The deal signals more consolidation among European department stores. Last year, Italy’s La Rinascente purchased the Printemps department stores from PPR, parent of Gucci Group. In recent weeks speculation mounted that Galeries Lafayette had its eye on Britain’s Debenham’s department stores, which Galeries denied.