European retailers expand China operations

Related tags Supermarket Hypermarket

Two of Europe's major retail chains, Carrefour and Metro, have
announced plans to expand their operations in China, while a third,
Tesco, is still on the hunt for a partner to enable it to enter the
country's market.

The world's second biggest retail giant, French company Carrefour, has announced plans to build a purchasing centre in Guangzhou, in southern China's Guangdong province.

Carrefour has 44 hypermarkets throughout China, five of which are in Guangdong province. The company plans to open three supermarkets in Guangzhou this year, and six more next year.

Germany's Metro is to open 10 stores this year, in major cities such as Dalian, Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Beijing, according to China's Xinhua news agency.

Tesco spokesperson Alex Trenchard confirmed to Asia Pacific Food Technology that the company was still looking to enter the Chinese market, but would only do so at the right time and with the right partner.

Foreign retailers can only operate in China through joint ventures with local companies and cannot hold more than a 65 per cent share in any operation.

The British supermarket chain controls more than a quarter of the UK grocery market, but is facing increasing competition from rivals following the takeover of Safeway by William Morrison earlier this year.

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