Carrefour profits up as customers embrace new shopping trends
Carrefour said its China mainland and Taiwan operations recorded an 11 fold jump in profit in the past year, with digital technologies enhancing operation efficiency.
Operating income, or earnings before interest and taxes, climbed 11 times to 350 million yuan (US$52.2 million) thanks to initiatives to transform the commercial model of hypermarkets and the acceleration of online to offline services.
Globally, sales on a like-for-like basis were up 1.4 percent to 85 billion euros.
Carrefour said it's continuing its digitization pace while modernizing its offerings and ensuring more shopper-friendly products and services.
“China is a retailing laboratory for the world and for Carrefour, China is a specific market that has helped us to learn and to understand the future,” commented President & CEO of Carrefour China Thierry Garnier.
By the end of last year, Scan & Go technology, which allows users to scan and pay for merchandise they select at physical stores through WeChat Wallet, has been deployed in Carrefour offline stores in China.
Self service check-out machines are also to be rolled out to all over the country by the end of March 2019.
The Carrefour "Le Marche" was opened last year in Shanghai, which was the first of its kind to feature smart technology such as self-payment through the WeChat app and facial recognition during the check-out process.
Carrefour said it would stick to the “multi-format and omni-channel” development strategy as retailers are embracing innovative models to retain consumers and drive incremental sales.
It's also been extending collaboration with online-to-offline platforms such as Meituan, Ele.me and JD Daojia to offer express delivery. Carrefour's flagship store was also opened on JD Mall last December.
Six distribution centers are currently under operation in China in an effort to achieve better online to offline integration and lower transportation costs in first-and-second tier cities, and improve assortments in third-and-fourth tier cities.