BRUSSELS, Belgium (27 January 2000)--The EU headquarters in Brussels has approved the takeover of French hypermarket company Promodès by countryman Carrefour. With this deal Carrefour is now officially the second largest retail giant in the world, following the US Wal-Mart. The new Carrefour Group sales (including Promodès) are estimated to be approximately EUR70 billion annually.
The French retail chain also sells bicycles and bicycle-related products. According to Stéphane Regraffé, bicycle product manager at Carrefour, the retailer wants to become "the bike specialist among hypermarkets."
Before the merger, Carrefour was already the eighth largest retailer in the world. In terms of bicycles, it was (and remains) the second largest distributor in France with an annual turnover of around 350,000 units. The hypermarket chain also has branches in Spain, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Turkey and the Czech Republic, adding another 350,000 to 400,000 bikes annually. Promodès sells around 150,000 bikes a year. With the merger Carrefour now has the distribution potential of up to one million bikes.
For more on Carrefour see the November 1999 issue of Bike Europe. (JB)