PARIS — French retail giant Carrefour SA has forged a purchasing partnership with Fnac Darty for home appliances and electronics amidst mounting pressure on retailers to adapt to a world shaped by online commerce.
The move also marks the first strategic step by Carrefour’s chief executive officer Alexandre Bompard, who took control of the company this summer.
The former Fnac Darty executive was credited with securing a future for the electronics retailer Fnac as it struggled to adapt to Internet competition by merging it with a seller of household appliances, Darty.
He now faces the mission of finding a new model for Carrefour, the world’s second largest retailer after Wal-Mart Stores Inc.
The big-box retailer has been locked in a battle for consumers with rivals on its domestic turf, adding urgency to the task. Successive executives at the French retailer have moved to shore up its range of stores, responding to a shift in consumption habits toward smaller, convenient formats in city centers, and sought to rebalance international operations to reduce reliance on its home market.
Bompard named his top brass in September, bringing in three executives from outside the group, including a banker with experience in the digital sphere. The following month, he hired a former deputy from his Fnac-Darty merger days, Matthieu Malige, naming him chief financial officer.
Carrefour said in a statement Tuesday that the partnership between Carrefour and Fnac Darty should be effective for negotiations with suppliers in 2018. The agreement will be presented to the French competition authority as well as employee representatives.