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Digital turnabout lifts Carrefour China

Carrefour China said operating profit in the first half climbed 1.7 times as a digital transformation helped the company better cater to local market trends.Thierry Garnier, executive director of Carrefour Asia, said the company is deepening digital reform and is continuing innovation on the retail front to bring new ideas to other parts of the market. The company said in January this year it has entered into a strategic partnership with tech giant Tencent. It is also in the process of negotiating with local supermarket chain operator Yonghui regarding potential investment deals to strengthen local operations. The French retailer opened its first high-tech store, “Carrefour Le Marche,” in Shanghai in May, which is a smaller format compared with regular supermarkets, with features such as self-service check-outs. Two more Carrefour Le Marche outlets will be opened in Shenzhen later this year. Further digital transformation is also underway and will be extended to other domestic cities. Global supermarket chains are under pressure from local retailers as well as e-commerce players who are aggressively entering the offline retail sector.