Carrefour to open two Supeco discount stores in France

PARIS (Reuters) - Carrefour CARR.PA is launching two Supeco stores in northern France this month, Europe's largest food retailer said on Wednesday.

FILE PHOTO: A Carrefour logo is seen on a Carrefour Hypermarket store in Antibes, France May 6, 2019. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard

Supeco was launched by Carrefour in Spain in 2012 when Pascal Clouzard headed the Spanish business. Clouzard became Carrefour France boss in 2017.

Carrefour currently operates 23 Supeco stores in Spain, 15 in Romania, two in Poland, and one in Italy.

The first French store will open in Valenciennes on Wednesday and a second will open on Sept. 25 in Onnaing, it said.

“Carrefour is adapting Supeco to the French market to propose a model based on soft discount,” the company said, referring to marketing that is less stripped down than full-fledged cash and carry outlets.

The stores will offer bakery and butcher corners and more fresh products than a typical cash and carry store.

The French stores will offer about 2,000 products instead of 15,000 in a traditional Carrefour supermarket, at what the group says will be attractive prices.

Carrefour-branded goods will make up the bulk of the food products to be offered.

Carrefour, which operates over 12,000 stores worldwide, including 5,200 in France, is in the midst of a five-year restructuring plan to cut costs and boost performance.

It faces pressure in France from traditional rivals such Leclerc and from Amazon AMZN.O, as well as in the discount sector from Lidl, which has successfully changed its business model to expand its market share to nearly 6%.

U.S. warehouse club operator Costco COST.O also opened its first warehouse in 2017 in Villebon-Sur-Yvette, near Paris, and plans more stores.

Carrefour exited hard discounting last year in France when it closed or sold 273 underperforming Dia stores.

Reporting by Dominique Vidalon; editing by Jason Neely