Carrefour's Strategies in China

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Please note:

This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

This case won the second runner up prize in the 2006 John Molson Case Writing Competition, organized by John Molson School of Business, Concordia University, Montreal, Canada.

Case Details:


Case Code : BSTR246 For delivery in electronic format: Rs. 500;
For delivery through courier (within India): Rs. 500 + Rs. 25 for Shipping & Handling Charges


International Business | Globalization Business
Case Length : 30 Pages
Period : 1995-2006
Pub Date : 2007
Teaching Note : Available
Organization : Carrefour
Industry : Retail
Countries : China


The case discusses the entry and expansion strategies of French retailer Carrefour, in the Chinese market. Carrefour began its Chinese operations by forming joint ventures in the year 1995. The company entered into direct deals with the local governments of various provinces in China to get the approval to set up its stores. By the early 2000s, Carrefour had emerged as the largest foreign retailer in China. The company considered China to consist of several small markets instead of one large market, and accordingly employed strategies for operating in the country. Most of the products sold in Carrefour stores were procured from China. The store formats, location, and the products sold were customized according to the local preferences, and the store managers were empowered to run the stores according to the local requirements.

The case also highlights the challenges faced by Carrefour in China. It discusses the competition that the company faces in China especially after Wal-Mart's acquisition of Trust-Mart. The case includes a note on the Chinese retail industry.


Study and analyze the entry and expansion strategies of Carrefour in China

Evaluate the strategy of operating in China through several joint venture partners

Examine Carrefour's expansion strategy into China, where it considered the country to be several small markets rather than one huge market

Understand how Carrefour brought changes in its store formats and operational methods to cater to the needs and preferences of consumers in China

Examine how Carrefour implemented the localization strategies in China

Study how Carrefour achieved a balance in implementing its global retailing best practices and customizing some of them to suit the needs of Chinese customers

Study the supply chain management practices of Carrefour in China

Examine the challenges faced by Carrefour in expanding its business in China

Gain insights into the growth and development of the retail industry in China

Examine the regulations and their implications on the Chinese retail industry


  Page No.
The 'Great Mall' of China 1
Background Note 3
Going Global 4
Carrefour in Asia 5
Entry and Expansion in China 6
The Strategies 9
Opening New Stores 10
Store Management 11
Supply Chain Management 11
Localization Strategies 13
The HR Practices 14
The Challenges 15
Exhibits 17


Carrefour China, Globalization, International Business, Localization, Retail Industry in China, Entry Strategies, Expansion Strategies, Decentralization, Autonomy, Chinese Laws and Regulations, Store Management, Supply Chain Management, HR Practices, Wal-Mart in China, Carrefour China, Globalization

The 'Great Mall' of China - Next Page>>


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