Bloomberg News

Carrefour Says Planet Format Performance Is Worse Than in Tests

September 28, 2011

Sept. 28 (Bloomberg) -- Carrefour SA, the world’s second- largest retailer, said its new Planet stores aren’t matching the performance of the format’s trial outlets.

“They are doing worse -- still much better than what we committed, but worse than the pilot stores,” Chief Commercial Officer Jose Carlos Gonzalez-Hurtado told reporters at the World Retail Congress in Berlin today.

Carrefour is revamping its hypermarket format in an effort to revive sales in France, its largest market. Planet stores offer more aisle space, children’s play areas and larger sections for categories like frozen or organic foods, beauty products and fashion. Trial stores have been operating since last year. The retailer will run 50 Planet outlets by the end of September, Gonzalez-Hurtado said.

The company has been able to cut investment spending on refurbishing stores to the Planet format to half the cost of setting up the trial outlets because it has bought more fixtures in bulk and more efficiently, Gonzalez-Hurtado said. Planet is beating the company’s forecasts for earnings, the executive said.

Carrefour, which is based in the Paris suburb of Boulogne- Billancourt, cut its full-year group profit forecast in August, saying it expects a decline of about 15 percent amid a slump in France.

--Editors: Tom Lavell, David Risser

To contact the reporter on this story: Sarah Shannon in Berlin via sshannon4@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Celeste Perri at cperri@bloomberg.net.


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