Thu, 10 Mar 2005


Carrefour withdraw from Japan

TOKYO: French supermarket giant Carrefour SA will withdraw from the Japanese market after a four-year presence in one of the world's toughest retail markets, a leading Japanese financial daily reported on Wednesday.

According to the Nihon Keizai Shimbun, major Japanese supermarket operator Aeon Co. is in the final stage of negotiations to purchase Carrefour's Japanese business.

Aeon will likely take over Carrefour's eight stores in the Tokyo and Osaka areas, including their employees, the report said.

According to the report, Aeon will set up a new firm to operate the eight outlets and Carrefour may hold a stake in the company. Those stores will retain the Carrefour name for some time.

Carrefour is the second largest supermarket chain in the world after Wal-Mart Stores Inc. of the United States, with annual sales of 81.4 billion euros (US$108 billion). It has 6,500 shops in numerous countries, including China, France, Indonesia, Italy and Spain. The French supermarket chain also withdrew from the U.S. market more than 10 years ago. -- DPA