Carrefour is the second largest and more successful hypermarket company in the world behind Wal-Mart. In Europe is the hypermarket with more revenues and sales. Carrefour has presence in 30 countries around the world and owns 12.028 stores worldwide (Carrefour, 2006). Carrefour founded the idea of retail-shop which means food- retailers and contains supermarkets, hypermarkets, hard discount, convenience stores, cash and carry, and e-commerce.
Carrefour was created in 1959 by the Fournier and Defforey families. They opened their first store on the year of 1960 in Annecy, Haute-Savoie. The history of Carrefour can't be tracked only focusing on Carrefour itself, is has to be tracked following at the same time the history of their best business partner Promodes. Through history Promodes and Carrefour have been competitors in the food-retail market but any of those companies were not successful until their alliance in 1999. In 1963 Carrefour opened their first hypermarket surprising the world with this new concept, meanwhile Promodes in 1972 introduced the concept of "convenience store" to the food market. In 1990 both companies realized that good quality was not enough for the costumer so they decided to offer hard discounts in their businesses. During the 80's decade competition from outside Europe tried to enter to the market with new ideas and cheaper prices, a combination that both companies couldn't handle forcing them to merge in an alliance in the year of 1999. The first couple of years weren't easy for this new company named Carrefour Group because the original companies had different goals; Promodes for instance had a lot of different signs and franchises, and their goal was optimize productivity, purchasing and logistic. Carrefour in the other side was more interested in their costumer service and their marketing within Europe. Finally they figured out how to mix both cultures and give shape to a new one more strong and global becoming one...
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