SAO PAULO, Dec 18 (Reuters) - The wholesale division of Carrefour Brasil, the nation’s largest retailer, plans to keep up its aggressive pace of store openings for at least the next three to four years, the unit’s chief executive officer told Reuters on Tuesday.
The Atacadão division, Carrefour Brasil’s fastest growing by sales, has met its goal of opening 20 new stores this year and plans to continue that pace, CEO Roberto Müssnich said in an interview.
Atacadão currently has 166 stores and 27 wholesale delivery locations.
The listed unit of France’s Carrefour SA recorded major gains in sales at Atacadão despite the Brazilian economy’s slow recovery from recession. Consumers have been drawn to the wholesale format that offers larger quantities of a product at a discount.
Atacadão leads the segment in sales but is likely to face increasing competition from new players entering the “cash and carry” format as well as rival GPA SA’s Assai wholesale chain.
GPA’s CEO said earlier this month the retailer would concentrate on that brand as it ramps up capital spending. (Reporting by Gabriela Mello; Writing by Jake Spring; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)