PARIS (Reuters) - Carrefour, the world’s second-largest retailer, plans to revive its e-commerce operations in Brazil this year after shutting the business down in 2012 as part of a broader group restructuring.
Chief Executive Georges Plassat revealed the plan at the annual shareholders meeting on Tuesday. He also told investors that Carrefour wanted to boost its local profile in Brazil, its second-largest market after France and an emerging country it has earmarked for expansion.
Carrefour stunned the retail community in 2012 when the group announced it was ending its e-commerce business to focus on reviving its ailing hypermarkets in Brazil and in Europe.
French arch rival Casino, which controls Brazil’s largest retailer Grupo Pao de Acucar, runs the country’s number one online retail business Nova Pontocom.
Plassat gave no further details on his expansion plans in Brazil apart from saying: “We are convinced that Brazil is a country that Carrefour will be able to count on, possibly if it strengthens its ties with local partners.”
To finance its expansion in Brazil, Plassat has said he will decide by the end of the year whether to sell a stake in its business in Brazil to investors, or proceed with an initial public offer of shares in 2015.
Shareholders approved all resolutions proposed at the meeting, including raising the age limit for Carrefour’s CEO to 70 from 65. Plassat, whose mandate expires in the Spring 2015, is 65.
(The story corrects ranking in first paragraph to world’s second-largest retailer)
Reporting by Dominique Vidalon; Editing by Andrew Callus