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Nov 09, 2023 12:46 EEST
November 9 (SeeNews) - French food retailer Carrefour said on Thursday it is expanding its partnership with Greek master franchise holder Retail & More in order to reintroduce its brand and resume selling its products in Bulgaria.
Retail & More, a Carrefour franchisee since 2022, is in contact with several Bulgarian groups to sub-franchise the French brand, including at twenty stores of Varna-based Parkmart group founded in 2018 by Bulgarian businessman Dobromir Andonov, Carrefour said in a statement emailed to SeeNews.
The designated Parkmart stores in Sofia, Varna and Burgas will be rebranded as Carrefour Market and Carrefour Express in the next few months, the French company said.
As part of Carrefour's strategy to 2026, plans are underway to add franchises in ten new markets, according to Patrick Lasfargues, executive director of Carrefour Partenariat International, a subsidiary of the French group managing the group's franchise partnerships worldwide.
Retail & More, part of Greece's AVE Group, was set up in 2021 and took over the master franchise of Carrefour in Greece to relaunch the brand in the country. The French supermarket returned to the Greek market last year. It plans to reach 50 stores in Greece by the end of 2023, according to the statement.
Carrefour entered the Bulgarian market in 2009, operating through KMB, a unit of its previous Greek franchise holder Marinopoulos Group. A planned merger between KMB and AP Mart, owner of the Piccadilly supermarket chain in Bulgaria, fell through in 2015. KMB was declared bankrupt in 2016, having accumulated 183 million levs ($100.1 million/93.6 million euro) in losses since 2011.
In Europe, Carrefour directly operates stores in France, Belgium, Spain, Italy, Poland and Romania.
In the third quarter of 2023, Carrefour posted a 9% like-for-like sales growth to 23.6 billion euro ($25.3 billion), although consumers traded down due to the effect of high inflation on consumer behaviour, the company said in a recent interim financial statement.
Last month, the French retailer closed its acquisition of Belgian retailer Louis Delhaize's Cora hypermarkets and stores in Romania.
(1 euro = 1.95583 levs)
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