PARIS — It appears that Carrefour’s overhaul plans are showing signs of paying off. The French retail giant flagged a small acceleration in sales over the third quarter, led by a 30 percent rise in food e-commerce and growth in Latin America.
Sales in the third quarter grew 2.3 percent on a like-for-like basis to reach 20.19 billion euros, with a 12.8 percent growth in business in Latin America helping to offset a decline in French hypermarket sales, which were down 3.6 percent.
This was explained partly by the development of Carrefour-branded products, which has lower prices than national brands: In France, sales growth for Carrefour-branded products was four times higher than the private label market.
In a statement, the company pointed out that sales in Latin America were driven by Carrefour’s highest growth in Brazil over the last five years, which progressed 3.8 percent in the third quarter. It also underlined the fact that Argentina’s cumulative inflation rate was greater than 100 percent in the last three years, which explains the 58.7 percent growth figure for the third quarter.
Carrefour, the world’s second largest retailer after Walmart is in the second year of its wide-ranging, five-year overhaul for survival — dubbed “the Carrefour 2022 plan” — that includes rethinking its struggling big-box stores as well as bulking up delivery services and organic produce.
The French retailer, under the direction of chief executive officer Alexandre Bompard, is racing to adapt to shifting consumption habits amid the emergence of global, online giants like Amazon and Alibaba, forging ties with other companies like Google to shore up its defenses.
Excluding France, sales in Europe declined 0.4 percent percent on a like-for-like basis to 5.8 billion euros, with growth in Romania and Poland weighed down by declines in Italy and Belgium. However, Spain returned to growth for the first time since Q2 2017, led by food e-commerce.
As far as consumer habits are concerned, sales of organic produce continued their momentum, rising above 25 percent.