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French supermarket to increase discount operations in push against inflation

French supermarket giant Carrefour announced plans Tuesday to expand its discount operations and own brand products as it continues to cut costs amid spiralling inflation.

French supermarket to increase discount operations in push against inflation
The Carrefour logo above a supermarket at Alma shopping mall in Rennes, western France. (Photo by Damien MEYER / AFP)

The move comes as part of plans to slash costs by €4 billion through to 2026 under a strategy which also sees a still unknown
number of job cuts.

“We are speeding up our transformation to consolidate our model of sustainable growth,” said chairman Alexandre Bompard in a statement, as the group also looks to expand its presence in e-commerce.

As it bears down on costs amid a cost-of-living crisis, Carrefour aims to lift own brand foodstuff sales to 40 percent of total sales from a current 33 percent.

Bompard, at the helm since 2017, is also set to launch in France the group’s Brazilian discount chain Atacadao from the third quarter of next year, as well as further develop another low-cost brand Supeco, notably lifting its presence from 120 stores in Spain to 200 by 2026.

Supeco began operations in Senegal in 2019 and has since spread its wings to Ivory Coast and Morocco while also launching operations in Spain, Italy, Poland and Romania as well as Brazil.

Carrefour says it is stepping up commitment to local partner producers from a current 39,000 to 50,000 over the coming three years.

It will further expand its Potager City brand, which distributes online subscription-based extra-fresh and seasonal fruit.

The group sees itself as at the forefront of increasing locally-produced food transition to within 50 kilometres (just over 30 miles) of sale points.

Shares in Carrefour were down 1.8 percent at 16.26 euros in mid-morning trading in Paris, compared with a year high reached in May of 21.03 euros.

The group employs some 320,000 people in around 30 countries.

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CLIMATE CRISIS

Natural disaster costs hit 23-year high in France

Natural disasters cost French insurers €10 billion last year, a two-decade high as such events become more frequent and intense, the head of the sector's federation said on Thursday.

Natural disaster costs hit 23-year high in France

“It was an annus horribilis,” France Assureurs president Florence Lustman told Europe 1 radio, citing the hailstorms, floods and droughts that hit the country last year.

Natural disasters cost the industry €3.5 billion on average per year between 2017-2021.

The 2022 figure is the highest since storms pummelled France in 1999.

The insurance federation said the bill from natural disasters will exceed €140 billion over the next 30 years, double the amount for the previous three decades.

Reinsurance giant Swiss Re said in December that natural and man-made catastrophes caused $268 billion of economic losses worldwide in 2022.

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