Carrefour SA

PARIS — Carrefour has agreed to purchase local grocery chain Wellcome Taiwan, making it the second biggest food retailer to operate various-sized stores in that market. 

The purchase of 224 small, local stores and a warehouse from Dairy Farm comes as retailers across the spectrum train their focus on Asia while business remains subdued in the Europe and the Americas.

The enterprise value of the transaction is 97 million euros.

Carrefour said it intends to improve the quality and services of the stores. The retailer has been undergoing a vast overhaul over the past couple of years, steered by chief executive officer Alexandre Bompard who has emphasized delivery services, e-commerce, multiformat stores, competitive prices and organic produce. 

The grocery retailer already operates 137 stores, including 69 Market stores, in Taiwan, where it generated 1.98 billion euros in sales last year, and recurring operating income of 83 million euros.

Carrefour plans to convert Wellcome stores to the Market banner and Jasons stores, also part of the transaction, to the Carrefour premium banner.

The deal is expected to close by the end of this year, according to the group’s statement.

Carrefour last year reduced its presence in mainland China, selling the majority of its operations there to Suning.com.

The inventor of big-box supermarkets in the Sixties, the retailer has struggled to adapt in recent years to the rise in popularity of smaller, convenience locations, and has been moving to reduce the size of its hypermarkets.