As reported last week, French retailer Carrefour is working on a plan that could cut costs by around EUR2 billion (USD2.6 billion) by 2012. The plan is defined by seven “building sites” called “initiatives”. According to French magazine Challenges, one of the initiatives will focus on reducing the number of non-food SKUs by 40% in some hypermarkets. Only essential non-food items will be available instore, with customers able to order other items online within the outlet. The group will also improve hypermarket management with a pilot test underway in the Carrefour hypermarket located in Claye-Souilly (Ile-de-France). The retailer will then transfer purchasing, logistics and promotions to its headquarters. Store executives can then concentrate on selling while the department heads will focus on customer service.
Simplification of the group's structures is also on the cards for Carrefour. Store switchboards will be regrouped under a unique platform. Instore jewellers, with turnover of less than EUR300,000 (USD390,660), will be closed and 12 have already been shut down. In some hypermarkets, meat cutting at the fresh counter may be subcontracted. Bakeries and confectionery sections are currently testing frozen foods. Cash desks in the consumer electronics category are likely to disappear. The retailer is also considering merging some of its regional headquarters located in Levallois-Perret, Evry, Caen, Les Ulis and Lyon. www.planetretail.net