French retail giant Carrefour announced uneven growth performance in Europe in its third quarter financial results, generating about 20.4 billion euros ($23.7 billion), a 4% quarter-on-quarter increase in sales revenue across all its markets.
According to Chairman and CEO Alexandre Bompard, the company continued to gain market share in most of the countries it operates in, despite a very high comparable base. “Our trajectory is very solid and demonstrates our ability to generate structural growth thanks to our strong customer-centric approach, good control over our operations, notably in digital, and impactful strategic initiatives,” he said.
Earlier in March, the retailer announced that it had completed the acquisition of supermarket chain, Supersol, in Spain, where Carrefour gained market share driven by strong out-of-home consumption which benefitted Carrefour’s convenience formats at the expense of hypermarkets.
In Italy and Poland, sales growth was positive, albeit less than 1% LFL, while it recorded stronger growth in Romania, up 6%, following a strong second quarter performance in the country.
But the business appears to be struggling in Belgium where it recorded negative growth in Q3. “The performance reflects the declining market, marked by deflationary pressures on food and a high comparable base, as the summer period in 2020 benefited from high domestic tourism in the sanitary context,” the company explained.
Despite the uneven growth, the French grocery giant operates over 12,000 stores in more than 30 countries, serving 105 million customers worldwide and has a workforce of more than 380,000.
Speeding up Grocery Delivery Across Europe
Earlier this year, the multinational retailer expanded its partnership with British online food delivery company Deliveroo to its French home market, delivering groceries to French consumers within 30 minutes using Deliveroo riders. The companies already offer on-demand grocery delivery in Belgium, Italy, and Spain.
The service initially launched in Paris and is expected to expand to 10 other major French cities, according to a release published at the time.
In May, the French firm announced that its partnership with Uber Eats in France, launched a year prior, was going strong. From delivering products to consumers in 30 minutes when it launched in April 2020, products were “now available in 10 to 20 minutes” in over a hundred cities across France. According to Carrefour, more than 1,000 of its stores will be accessible via the Uber Eats application throughout France by the end of this year.
Following the success of the initial deal, the service was launched in Belgium, four months after the start of their collaboration in France.
And as consumers continue to expect faster delivery options, the retail behemoth made its foray into the ultra-fast grocery delivery space last month, investing $40 million for a minority stake in French grocery startup Cajoo. The six-month-old startup delivers grocery orders by bicycle within 15 minutes, and currently operates 20 micro fulfillment centers in 10 major cities across France.
In a recent interview with PYMNTS, Cajoo Co-founder and CEO Henri Capoul said the partnership with the multinational retailer was a “game-changer” for the complex instant grocery business.
“We are very lucky to get access to all of the available SKUs [stock keeping units] from Carrefour to make sure that we can, first of all, get the right products that we need, and also make sure we don’t have to renegotiate every product with every brand if we want to change anything,” he said.