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CASINO GUICHARD-PERRACHON SA IN RETAILING

(WORLD)
February 2015

SCOPE OF THE REPORT

Scope
Disclaimer

ll values expressed in this report are in US dollar terms, using a fixed


exchange rate (2014), unless otherwise stated.
014 figures are based on part-year estimates.
ll forecast data are expressed in constant terms; inflationary effects are
discounted. Conversely, all historical data are expressed in current terms;
inflationary effects are taken into account.

Much of the information in this


briefing is of a statistical nature and,
while every attempt has been made
to ensure accuracy and reliability,
Euromonitor International cannot be
held responsible for omissions or
errors.
Figures in tables and analyses are
calculated from unrounded data and
may not sum. Analyses found in the
briefings may not totally reflect the
companies opinions, reader
discretion is advised.
Casino primary focus is modern
grocery, although after acquiring
the Brazilian GPA group, 16% of
its 2014 sales were generated in
electronics and appliance
specialist channel. The company
aims to compete internationally,
but lacks scale. It has therefore
bought share in emerging
markets. It is carving out a
reputation as a low-price operator
at home, reflecting acute price
sensitivity. Its multi-brand
strategy looks confusing, but it is
an innovative and flexible player.

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PASSPORT 2

STRATEGIC EVALUATION
COMPETITIVE POSITIONING
DOMESTIC STRATEGY
INTERNATIONAL STRATEGY
MULTI-CHANNEL STRATEGY
BRAND AND PRIVATE LABEL STRATEGIES
OPERATIONS
RECOMMENDATIONS

STRATEGIC EVALUATION

Key company facts


Casino Guichard-Perrachon SA
Headquarters:

Saint-Etienne, France

Regional involvement:

Latin America, Middle


East and Africa, Western
Europe

Category involvement:

Hypermarkets/
supermarkets,
convenience stores,
discounters, electronics
and appliance specialist
retailers, drugstores/
parapharmacies, internet
retailing

World retailing value


share:
World Casino value
growth:

0.4% (2013); 0.4%


(2014)
15.3% (2013);
5.6% (2014)

rance-based retail group Casino Guichard-Perrachon SA


held a 0.4% share of world retailing in 2014. It is primarily
a grocery retailer, generating 84% of 2014 value sales in
this channel.
owever, this is down from 99% in 2009. In 2012, the
company acquired a controlling interest in Grupo Po de
Acar (subsequently changing its name to GPA in 2013)
in Brazil, whose portfolio includes electronics and
appliance specialists Casas Bahia (607 outlets) and Ponto
Frio (400 outlets). The acquisition also added grocery
retailers, making Casino the leading retailer in Brazil.
lthough the company still trails behind fellow French
international retail groups Carrefour SA and Auchan Group
SA, it is building momentum. The acquisitions improved
Casinos global ranking in total retailing from 21st to 17th
between 2009 and 2014.
he company is still looking to develop international sales,
with five new openings in the United Arab Emirates and 10
openings in Tunisia planned for 2015. However, France
remains its core market, generating 44% of 2014 value
sales.

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STRATEGIC EVALUATION

Financial analysis
n FY 2014, Casino's revenues grew by a healthy 16%
to reach 49 billion. Growth was driven partly by
boosted by the fully-consolidated results of GPA and
Monoprix, acquisitions from 2012.
owever, the company enjoyed organic growth at all of
its international subsidiaries, which saw collective
revenues rise by 24%. Latin America was the key to
this performance, with the success of the Assa cashand-carry banner and the Minimercado Extra
convenience store network in Brazil especially strong.
he company also undertook substantial repositioning
in France, significantly reducing prices and opening
stores in the most promising channels. The price
repositioning strategy rolled out at Gant and Casino
helped drive up footfall at Gant hypermarkets by 2%.
The French retail environment is stagnant, but the
companys convenience formats held firm.
asinos online business also saw solid growth, with the
Cdiscount site achieving a 16% increase in business
volume.

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STRATEGIC EVALUATION

Latest financial data


he companys most recent financial data were affected by
unfavourable exchange rates. A growing part of its
business was generated by international subsidiaries; in
organic (ie fixed exchange rates) terms, Casino actually
saw encouraging year-on-year growth in H1 FY 2014.
asino saw solid performance from its convenience stores
and supermarkets banners in France, helped by
aggressive price cutting. Together with a strong
performance from its international businesses, especially
in Brazil, this drove a 6% increase in underlying net profit
in constant terms.
ngoing weakness in the French retail market meant that
domestic organic sales dropped by 2%. Investments in
pricing in France also hit value growth as well as domestic
product development. Operational restructuring offset this
to a degree, but international sales are clearly the more
dynamic part of the business.
inally, its online business continued to thrive. Its non-food
e-commerce business in France and Brazil saw volume
growth of 24% at Cdiscount and 44% at Nova Pontocom in
Q2 2014.

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PASSPORT 6

STRATEGIC EVALUATION

Dynamic international expansion

I
nternational expansion is now a key strategic goal for the company, with international operations representing over 60% of revenue
and
al
most 75% of trading profit in FY 2013. As well as wholly-owned stores, Casino also operates franchised stores outside France,
mainly in Africa and the Middle East. It also sells private label Casino and Monoprix products to retailers in markets as distant as
Hong Kong and the Philippines. This offers revenue possibilities, but also allows Casino to evaluate future expansion opportunities.

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PASSPORT 7

STRATEGIC EVALUATION

SWOT: Casino Guichard-Perrachon SA


STRENGTHS

Multi-channel presence
he company operates
across a broad spectrum
of retail channels with a
number of different
banners. This allows for
a more segmented offer,
as well as stronger retail
synergies.

WEAKNESSES

Global footprint
asinos international
sales are now the largest
and most dynamic part of
its business, and offset
the companys exposure
to the problematic
French retail market.

OPPORTUNITIES

International expansion
he company is
committed to growing
sales in new markets,
and has identified Africa
and the Middle East for
expansion in the short
term. Asia Pacific may
also hold potential.

Euromonitor International

France
lthough Casino is rapidly
reducing its dependence
on its domestic market,
and restructuring its
business there, 44% of
2014 values were
generated in this
stagnant retail market.

Hypermarkets may be
outdated

6% of 2014 value sales


were generated by
hypermarkets. The most
dynamic part of the
market is convenience
led. Hypermarkets are
also most threatened by
online retailers.

THREATS

Brand roll-out
asino sells many of its
private label products
via local partners in a
wide range of markets.
This strengthens brand
equity and may pave the
way for new market
entry.

Price pressure
asino has invested
heavily in price cutting in
its domestic market.
Reportedly, this has
helped sales stabilise,
but may undermine
long-term growth.

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Other global retailers


asinos international
development strategy is
also being copied by peers
such as Wal-Mart and
Auchan. At the same time,
local retailers in key
emerging markets, notably
Brazil, are becoming more
effective.
PASSPORT 8

STRATEGIC EVALUATION

Key challenges: Flat demand at home and new markets


Stagnant French market prompts portfolio overhaul

Offset weak domestic market in new dynamic ones

asino spent much of 2014 rolling out new stores in


the most dynamic parts of the French market, notably
opening 134 discounters under the Leader Price
banner. The French modern grocery retailing market,
where Casino made 99% of its total 2014 sales, has
become highly price sensitive and is set to see
limited growth through 2019. Casino might want to
test smaller stores, focus on its successful online
business and divest or close its hypermarkets.

odern grocery is forecast a CAGR of 1% through


2019 in France. Domestic value development will
be a challenge, as confidence is weak and price
pressure from Auchan, Carrefour and Leclerc limits
opportunity. Casino needs more international sales
to maintain growth and offset domestic weakness,
and might want to buy share in more dynamic
markets.

Multi-channel trading is crowded

International and domestic organisation

discount in France and Nova Pontocom in Brazil are


Casinos main online businesses, and it has sought
to use them to create strong multi-channel
(essentially click-and-collect ) synergies in both
markets. Casino launched Cdiscount in Colombia,
Thailand and Vietnam in January 2014, and regards
cross-channel retailing as a high priority. However, it
faces a challenge to differentiate its offer from other
larger retailers with similar strategies.
Euromonitor International

he company operates a large number of brands,


and is active in a variety of channels, even more so
since completing the GPA acquisition in 2013.
While this allows the company to easily cater to
local tastes, as well as greater flexibility, it limits the
strengthening of global brand equity. It is also more
expensive to run multi-brands, which may become
more of an issue going forward as the company
seeks to cut costs in France.

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PASSPORT 9

STRATEGIC EVALUATION
COMPETITIVE POSITIONING
DOMESTIC STRATEGY
INTERNATIONAL STRATEGY
MULTI-CHANNEL STRATEGY
BRAND AND PRIVATE LABEL STRATEGIES
OPERATIONS
RECOMMENDATIONS

COMPETITIVE POSITIONING

Acquisition and new markets reduce French exposure


asino outperformed the global retailing market through 2014, generating a CAGR of 11% compared to a
global figure of 5%. Much of this growth was driven by acquisition, notably GPA in Brazil, as Casino sought
to reduce its exposure to mature Western European markets.

A: 2009-2010: Global economic

B:2010-2012: A series of

C: 2013-2014: Consolidation of

weakness and the Eurozone


sovereign debt crisis see Casino
struggle in Western Europe, but
decline is offset by success in
new markets in Asia Pacific and
Latin America.

acquisitions, including Carrefour's


interests in Thailand, Galeries
Lafayette's 50% stake in
Monoprix and a controlling
interest in GPA help Casino
outperform the global market in
2011 and 2012.

Monoprixs remaining 50% and


strong international growth fail to
offset domestic stagnation.
However, a weak euro masks
relative solidity in the companys
business.

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PASSPORT 11

COMPETITIVE POSITIONING

International development and scale key growth


he three leading players in the global modern grocery
retailing market, and Casino, outperformed the global
market through 2014. Much of this has been driven by
acquisition, as in the case of Casino, or aggressive store
openings, as in the case of Wal-Mart. Large-scale operators
are clearly at an advantage, even more so because grocery
markets in key mature markets were characterised by price
pressure, led by discounters or very large players, whose
dominance forced smaller competitors out of the market.
his has seen considerable disposal and acquisition activity,
as operators try to reduce their exposure to weaker markets
and move into new ones. In 2014, for example, Wal-Mart
announced it would close 30 of its Seiyu stores in Japan,
while seeking to expand in China.
ompanies that have performed best tend to be those that
have aggressively bought into emerging markets. Casino, for
example, saw its share of sales generated in Latin America
rise from 34% to 46% over the review period. Building scale
is therefore essential to staying competitive, as it allows
players to dictate pricing, build economies of scale and
invest in new grocery formats such as click-and-collect.

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PASSPORT 12

COMPETITIVE POSITIONING

France focus limits Casino gains


asino saw a slight drop in share in 2014, as the dramatic
gains made following the GPA acquisition were offset by
its exposure to France. Peers such as Seven & I, which
generated the bulk of their sales in Asia Pacific, are less
prone to this, but most leading retailers hold significant
share in developed markets.
al-Mart leads the global market by some distance, and
has built such a large network and such advantageous
economies of scale that its leading position appears
unassailable.
S-based retailers dominate, although Seven & I has
made US expansion of its 7-Eleven chain a strategic
priority and is therefore coming into more direct
competition with these players.
he scale of the global market means that dramatic share
evolution has been rare in the past. However, with new
retail models this has changed; online giant Amazon has
built sales at high speed. Casino is aware of this
challenge and is attempting to compete with these
players by improving its own online offer, as well as
developing multi-channel strategies.

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PASSPORT 13

STRATEGIC EVALUATION
COMPETITIVE POSITIONING
DOMESTIC STRATEGY
INTERNATIONAL STRATEGY
MULTI-CHANNEL STRATEGY
BRAND AND PRIVATE LABEL STRATEGIES
OPERATIONS
RECOMMENDATIONS

DOMESTIC STRATEGY

Value development slowing in France


F
rench sales generated 44% of Casinos global retailing sales in 2014, down from 56% in 2009. This reflects the dynamism of the
company's international markets and stagnation at home, as well as its strategy of buying share in new markets; the leap in 2012
followed the purchase of GPA in Brazil.
C
asinos French peer Auchan Groups French sales fell from 42% to 34% of total values through 2014, as it pushed into China.
Again, this reflects underlying weakness in the French market, although Carrefour actually increased its share of sales generated
there from 45% to 49% following its exit from a number of international markets, notably Colombia, over the review period.
D
omestic value development will continue to struggle over the forecast period, as Casino is locked into an escalating round of price
cutting across its network of banners in France that was continued and accelerated in 2014. This has led to a recovery in footfall
and a significant rise in sales volumes, and has led the company to invest heavily in the Leader Price discounter chain.

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PASSPORT 15

DOMESTIC STRATEGY

Casino diversifies, but slowly


nternet retailing has evolved
strongly over the review period for
Casino, generating 8% of 2014
values compared to 5% in 2009.
This compares favourably to the
overall French retail market, where
internet retailing generated 6% of
values in 2014. Casino is the
second largest internet retailer in
France after Amazon with a 6%
share in 2014.
owever, its Cdiscount site slipped
from first to third in ranking over the
review period, possibly because
Casino is not a pure play internet
player. Primarily it is a modern
grocery operator at home, although
its willingness to straddle multiple
channels means that it has interests
in vending and mixed retailing (ie
mass merchandisers). This flexibility
is characteristic of the company.

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PASSPORT 16

DOMESTIC STRATEGY

Casinos price cutting may not be best long-term strategy


Modern grocery
retailing is Casinos primary business in France, with which it generated 91% of 2014 sales. Within the channel, supermarkets generated 47% of sales,
followed by hypermarkets (26%), discounters (18%) and convenience stores (9%).
Hypermarkets,
supermarkets and convenience stores are set to see the strongest growth in absolute value terms through 2019, and the company holds solid
positions in each of these. What seems odd is that the company is investing heavily in discounters, a channel that is set to see far weaker growth
going forward, and where it faces the might of German operators Lidl and Aldi.
Casino opened
134 new discounters under the Leader Price banner (around 85 of them conversions of the Norma and Le Mutant chains, acquired in 2013) in 2014, at
the same time as closing 35 convenience stores. Although price remains king in France, the company may do better by focusing on convenience
trends. It has started to roll out Franprix Nano, a small c-store format that it has high hopes for, but smaller supermarkets are also a way forward.
As in other mature
markets, convenience stores and local supermarkets are benefiting from changing consumer demand to shop closer to home, partly driven by higher
travel costs and an unwillingness to buy more than necessary. Tracking these trends, rather than price cuts, may be better long-term goals.

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PASSPORT 17

DOMESTIC STRATEGY

Multi-channel offers flexibility and strengthens competitiveness

espite pursuing a strategy of aggressive price cutting, Casino saw stronger


growth in sales over the review period than in outlet numbers; values posted a
CAGR of 5% compared to 2% for outlet numbers. Much of this was due to the
Monoprix acquisition in 2012, which added 300 new supermarkets to the
companys portfolio.

his saw Casinos supermarkets sales jump by a CAGR of 11% over the review
period. This is strategically a strong move; many French consumers are less
willing to drive to shop, and prefer the convenience of urban supermarkets.
Food accounts for a smaller percentage of household budgets and time spent
shopping has fallen. Monoprix is also more upmarket, with a strong
convenience alignment allowing Casino to preserve price positions in some of
its stores.

t the same time, the company is reducing its exposure to hypermarkets; it


closed five of these outlets over the review period, and saw sales fall by a
CAGR of 3% as a result. Hypermarkets are set to generate the greatest total
absolute value through 2019, but Casino may be looking to reduce direct
competition with E Leclerc and Carrefour, which held a combined 53% of the
channel in 2014, compared to Casinos 5%.

he company is therefore actively pursuing a far more multi-channel strategy.


This, allied with its burgeoning internet businesses and online cross channel
strategy, puts it in a strong position to adapt to what has become an
unpredictable market in France.

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PASSPORT 18

DOMESTIC STRATEGY

Wider French grocery footprint than peers


f the leading five modern grocery retailers in France, Casino has the most diverse portfolio by some
distance. This is deliberate. The acquisition of the Monoprix supermarket chain allows it to pursue urban
convenience trends (as well as strengthen its presence in Paris and its suburbs), more Leader Price
discounters as result of the network-strengthening acquisition of the Norma and Le Mutant store chains
allows it to address extreme price sensitivity in much of the consumer base, and the reduction of
dependence on hypermarket sales reduces its exposure to competition with heavyweights such as E
Leclerc. This balance is likely to shift through 2019, as Casino looks to roll out more convenience stores.
The Franprix Nano format, for example, is anticipated to enjoy a boom in outlet numbers.

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PASSPORT 19

DOMESTIC STRATEGY

Internet dynamism to offset grocery weakness


nternet sales are set to generate a CAGR of 11% through 2019, equivalent to 79% of total retailing absolute
value growth over 2014-2019. Casino's Cdiscount business, which retails a wide variety of non-food
products with a focus on large price cuts, is the third largest online retail brand in France, and has regularly
delivered double-digit growth for the company over 2009-2014.
his channel will help offset hardening market conditions elsewhere. None of the four other channels in which
the company is primarily involved is forecast a CAGR of more than 1% through 2019, with even strong
forecast
discounters
will beinoffset
bygrocery
price cuts.
he
competitive
environment
modern
retailing
will harden over the forecast period, and the company
should therefore look to exploit its internet strength to
sharpen its edge. It is investing in click-and-collect in
France, but may also look to develop online grocery
delivery. This is a comparatively undeveloped format in
France, and rising demand for convenience, as well as
growing internet penetration could drive demand.
asinos large number of urban supermarkets, in
particular its upmarket Monoprix chain offer promising
synergies; distribution is over a smaller area, it is
aligned with the convenience demands of urban
workers, it allows the company to add value and
differentiate its offer and its lack of scale in comparison
to Carrefour is less of an issue.

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PASSPORT 20

DOMESTIC STRATEGY

France: Finding ways to add value


Using online to offset stores

Adding value in c-stores

nternet retailing is forecast a


CAGR of 11% through 2019 in
France compared to less than 1%
for modern grocery retailing.
Casinos Cdiscount banner is
losing share to pure play internet
retailers such as Amazon, but
remains a serious player in the
market.

he company acknowledges that of


all of its grocery operations,
convenience stores and small
supermarkets (which are
frequently convenience aligned
thanks to their central urban
locations) fared best in 2014 in
what has been a zero demand
market.

discount, its core business, has a


reputation for low prices, an
increasingly important factor in the
French market and a very useful
marketing tool. However, the
company might do better by
investing in home delivery,
especially via its Paris-centric,
upmarket Monoprix banner. An
emphasis on convenience and
service would help preserve prices
and margins.

asino ranked second in the French


convenience stores market, and
had a network of 3,259 stores in
2014. There may be scope within
this network to add more value,
improving foodservice and fresh
food offers to meet convenience
demands and the decline in
cooking at home. Again, this offer
will allow the company to preserve
domestic value.

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Long-term pricing
asino has invested substantially
in price cutting across its
network, in response to very
solid consumer price sensitivity.
This is understandable, but its
lack of scale compared to the
likes of Leclerc and Carrefour
make this a very challenging
strategy for the company.
lthough the effects of the
Eurozone crisis linger, and
consumer confidence is weak,
the company may find in the
long term that price cuts will be
difficult to sustain, hindering
sales and margins, and hurt
investment elsewhere in France.

PASSPORT 21

STRATEGIC EVALUATION
COMPETITIVE POSITIONING
DOMESTIC STRATEGY
INTERNATIONAL STRATEGY
MULTI-CHANNEL STRATEGY
BRAND AND PRIVATE LABEL STRATEGIES
OPERATIONS
RECOMMENDATIONS

INTERNATIONAL STRATEGY

Limited international presence at present


C
asino is currently present in just one of the 10 global retailing markets, Brazil, set to see strongest growth in absolute value terms
through 2019, having exited Saudi Arabia in 2009. The company has limited international scope, with Brazil, Thailand and
Colombia generating 93% of total 2014 international sales, and a presence in just nine international markets in total. Historically,
Casino had a broader footprint, having exited markets in the Baltics, Western and Eastern Europe, and Latin America.
A
lthough 44% of 2014 values were generated in France, this is its only Western European market, unlike Auchan and Carrefour,
which operate large store networks in Italy and Spain and are more exposed to regional economic weakness. Brazil, forecast to
generate 2% of absolute global growth in retailing through 2019, became Casino's largest international market in 2012 following
the GPA acquisition. It is its prime international opportunity, generating 35% of 2014 sales. The company has identified markets
in Africa and the Middle East as holding potential. It opened Monoprix stores via franchise in Libya, Lebanon, Tunisia and Qatar
in 2013 and 2014, and aims to open more in 2015.

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PASSPORT 23

INTERNATIONAL STRATEGY

International presence solid in smaller markets


asino was visibly present in nine international markets in 2014, although it has nascent markets in the Middle East
via franchise agreements. fu-com is developing Gant hypermarkets in the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and
Kuwait, while Al Meera is spearheading Gant in Qatar. The Monoprix banner is managed by the Ali Bin Ali Group in
Qatar and ADMIC in Lebanon, and in Tunisia, the Gant and Monoprix banners are franchised to Mabrouk.
ts international presence is therefore more modest than that of Auchan, Carrefour and Wal-Mart. With the exception
of Brazil, the companys focus tends to be on small, relatively dynamic markets. Unlike these three competitors, it
has no presence in China, the worlds most dynamic retail market. The fact that it is expanding into new markets via
franchise, as well as distributing Monoprix and Casino branded products via local retailers in 40 countries
worldwide, suggests that it continues to struggle with scale.

Key Point: Casinos retail presence in Asia Pacific is confined to Vietnam and Thailand. Other regional
markets such as Indonesia offer potential to find partners or buy share. China may be out of the question.
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PASSPORT 24

INTERNATIONAL STRATEGY

Big C widens consumer and channel footprint in all directions


Ca
sino grew its share in Thailand from 3% to 4% in total retailing through 2014. Much of this was driven by network expansion. The
company acquired Carrefours Thai business in 2011, and added it to its Big C operations in which it is a majority shareholder. Other
acquisitions of small local players as well as aggressive store openings saw store numbers rise from 97 to 731 over the review period.
Ca
sino generated 99% of 2014 value sales in Thailand via modern grocery retailing. Hypermarkets are its core business, generating 88%
of 2014 value sales. However, this is down from 99% in 2009, as Casino has pushed into new channels, putting hypermarkets and
large supermarkets into shopping centres and expanding its convenience store and small supermarket networks elsewhere, mostly
under the Big C banner.
Lik
e France, Casino operates a low price strategy, but acquisition-led growth has let it broaden its customer base, and cater to upper- and
lower-income consumers. However, it is coming under threat; it lost share in its core hypermarkets business to Tesco in 2014, as the
larger player accelerated its building programme. Again, lack of scale is a weakness.

Key Point: Convenience stores is forecast to be the most dynamic store-based channel, and the company
may look to improve its position here.
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PASSPORT 25

INTERNATIONAL STRATEGY

Vietnam ripe for development


The company operates 28 Big C
hypermarkets and 10 New Cho supermarkets in Vietnam, and has identified the market as one of its strongest opportunities. Vietnam is set to see a CAGR of 9%
in modern grocery retailing through 2019, compared to a global average of 2%, with growth driven by a strengthening economy and rising urbanisation.
It has therefore invested to its
fullest ability in the market, adding 21 hypermarkets to its network over the review period. As a result, it ranked second in modern grocery retailing in 2014, a
market where peers such as Carrefour and Tesco are absent.
Again, low price positioning is a
key strategic plank for the company. In addition to price cuts, the company used aggressive promotional campaigns in 2014, as well as extending its WOW value
line and Big C brand.
Although the company
describes the market as immature, it has made solid use of innovation, notably the Big Xu electronic wallet. It aims to grow by network expansion, focusing on
opening hypermarkets anchored in shopping centres.
The market is clearly
underdeveloped; there is no visible share for either discounters or forecourt retailers in modern grocery retailing. Given Casinos experience in the channel, it may
look to build a discounter market and enjoy the advantages of early entry.

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PASSPORT 26

INTERNATIONAL STRATEGY

Casino in Brazil looks chaotic


C
asinos 2012 acquisition of GPA significantly altered its portfolio, increasing its share of internet retail from 4% to 12%, and giving it
a market-leading 27% share in electronics and appliance specialist retailers in 2014. As a result of the acquisition, the share of
sales generated by modern grocery retailing fell from 93% to 51% between 2009 and 2014, and by electronics and appliance
specialists grew from 2% to 42%.
C
asino operated 1,862 stores in Brazil in 2014: Extra hypermarkets, MiniMercado Extra convenience stores, Extra Supermercado
supermarkets and the premium banner Po de Acar, as well as Assai, its cash-and-carry chain, as well two fasciae in
appliances, the upmarket Ponto Frio and the middle class-aligned Casas Bahia. It also operates 158 chemists, and its Cnova
Brazil online division including extra.com.br, pontofrio.com and casasbahia.com.br.
B
razil is by a distance the most fragmented part of its retail business, a legacy of the GPA acquisition. In the long term, it needs to
try and rationalise banners and build synergies across the channels.

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PASSPORT 27

INTERNATIONAL STRATEGY

Brazil: Casino may need to brace for recession


T
he Brazilian economy is slowing down, after a period of dynamic growth. According to government data, the country slipped
into recession in the second quarter of 2014, despite the much-hyped affects of the World Cup, and consumer confidence
and investment fell. Unemployment is rising, as is inflation, although figures for 2014 were better than expected.
T
his leaves Casino facing growing price pressure in all of its local retail channels, but especially in food. Hypermarkets,
where it generated 26% of total retail value in 2014, is forecast to generate a CAGR of less than 1% through 2019.
T
he company may need to invest more heavily in low price positions. It currently has no presence in discounters, a channel
that is set to generate a CAGR of 5% over the forecast period, equivalent to 21% of total absolute growth in modern
grocery. Although it holds 100% of the dynamic but diminutive convenience stores channel, growing price sensitivity will be
key through 2019, and it may seek to buy share in the channel rather than hammer down prices in its other businesses.

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PASSPORT 28

INTERNATIONAL STRATEGY

Colombia characterised by diversity


olombia, where Casino generated 9% of global sales in
2014, is its third largest market. Its xito banner is the
country's leading retail brand, with presence in
convenience stores, hypermarkets, supermarkets,
electronics and appliance specialist retailers and internet
retailing. It also operates the Home Mart home and garden
banner, although 98% of 2014 sales came from modern
grocery retailing.
he company invested in reshuffling its Colombian
operations in 2014, closing two hypermarkets and
investing in supermarkets and convenience stores. The
latter is set to be among the most dynamic parts of the
market. Casino is looking to bolster its presence in
Colombia's cities by expanding its discounter and
convenience store formats, and in 2014 signed an
agreement to acquire and manage 50 Super Inter stores
located in the Cali and coffee growing regions.
he companys e-commerce platform is also strengthening.
Its xito platform is the leading online retailer in Colombia
and according to the company, saw a 37% sales increase
in FY 2013 and expanded its delivery coverage to include
1,100 Colombian towns and cities.

Euromonitor International

his reflects Casino's multi-channel strategy, and this scale


of investment helped improve its share of the Colombian
modern grocery retailing market from 29% in 2009 to 38%
in 2014. This share is likely to rise as the company plans
to spend heavily on outlet expansion and acquisition.

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PASSPORT 29

STRATEGIC EVALUATION
COMPETITIVE POSITIONING
DOMESTIC STRATEGY
INTERNATIONAL STRATEGY
MULTI-CHANNEL STRATEGY
BRAND AND PRIVATE LABEL STRATEGIES
OPERATIONS
RECOMMENDATIONS

MULTI-CHANNEL STRATEGY

Hypermarkets fall in importance for Casino


H
ypermarkets generated 36% of Casinos global sales in 2014, down from 49% in 2009, following the GPA acquisition. This trend
has also been driven by its pursuit of a multi-channel strategy. It has done this by acquisition, for example, the Norma and Le
Mutant discounter chains in France, as well as by store openings. However, the trend has also been partly driven by the
companys step away from hypermarkets in France. Since 2009, it has closed five outlets in its domestic market while opening 73
outside France.
T
he saturation of the channel in France, declining demand for non-food in hypermarkets and intense price pressure all hit Casinos
French hypermarkets sales. At the same time, its lack of scale made direct competition with the likes of Carrefour and E Leclerc
difficult. In emerging markets, the one-stop shopping trend is still emerging, and many of its newer markets remain
underdeveloped, especially in Southeast Asia and North Africa. Casino is unlikely to step away from the channel altogether,
especially as it seeks to integrate its online and store businesses in France, but the channel is no longer the heart of its business.

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MULTI-CHANNEL STRATEGY

Supermarkets allow Casino to push on at speed


asino added 417 new supermarkets to its store network
between 2009 and 2014, the largest addition of stores
to any part of its network. In truth, a large number of
these came in the wake of the Monoprix acquisition,
but adding the smaller format to its portfolio has
emerged as a strategy for the company over the review
period, both domestically and internationally; this
includes 38 new supermarkets in Thailand and 39 in
Colombia over the review period.
he reasons for this are straightforward. In France, the
company has historically been weak in the north of the
country and especially in Paris, where the
hypermarkets channel is saturated. Supermarkets are
easier to build, and avoid direct competition with
players such as Carrefour. They also allow the
company to roll out new stores at speed, part of an
aggressive expansion policy.
he same is true in new markets, where rapid
urbanisation and fewer car owners drive demand for
supermarkets above hypermarkets. The format is also
more convenient for shoppers, a key global retail trend.

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PASSPORT 32

MULTI-CHANNEL STRATEGY

Casino losing ground in click-and-collect in France


asinos Cdiscount.com website, with its focus on non-food products, is a major operator in the French internet retailing
market. Despite achieving a CAGR of 14% through 2014, it slipped from second to third over the review period, losing
ground to Amazon, which benefited from the widening of its product offer in categories and an aggressive pricing
strategy, and E Leclercs bundle of price comparison and online retail sites.
he latter is the most alarming. Like Casino, Leclerc has invested heavily in click-and-collect, opening its stand-alone,
internet dedicated Drive format in 2007 which lets customers place orders via www.leclercdrive.fr, then pick up the
order by car at their chosen time and location. Leclerc had more than 400 of these by 2014.
asino operates a click-and-collect service in France; from an initial test at 200 hypermarkets and supermarkets in early
2010, by 2014 it had 3,000 Cdiscount pick-up locations at its fasciae, with more than 400 Casino stores and 200
partner newsagents accepting payment for Cdiscount purchases. However, the success of Leclercs Drive format
prompted Casino to test the Casino Express banner, with a dedicated site, casinoexpress.fr. Like Drive, this is a standalone "dark" store that completes orders placed online, for collection at the Express site by the shopper; by 2014,
Casino operated six of them.
he popularity of click-and-collect in France may explain Casinos ongoing acquisition of sites in France, most recently
38 convenience stores from German discounter Norma and 47 from French discounter Le Mutant. These let Casino
bring collection points closer to consumers, as discounters and convenience stores are typically located in the suburbs.
n terms of pure play internet, the company will lose share as more specialists enter the market; eBay is set to overtake
Casino during the forecast period. This is inevitable. However, the competitive environment for modern grocery clickand-collect is heating up, and the company will need to invest more, possibly in stand-alones, to remain competitive.

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PASSPORT 33

MULTI-CHANNEL STRATEGY

Casino seeks to become global e-commerce player


nternet retailing was the strongest performing part of
the company's global business in France over the
review period, and is increasingly offsetting
underperforming parts of its other retail operations.
In 2014, its e-commerce activities were gathered
into Cnova, an entity that includes Cdiscount
(operating in France, Belgium, Cte dIvoire,
Senegal, Colombia, Ecuador, Thailand and Vietnam)
and Cnova Brazil (extra.com.br, pontofrio.com and
casasbahia.com.br). This is part of the companys
aim to launch a potential initial public offering in the
US market, and if successful should enable the
company establish itself as a Europe-based
competitor to the likes of Alibaba.
asinos main online sales in France are almost
entirely limited to non-food. Given that online food
and drink is set to be the largest single-definition
growth market in absolute value through 2019 and
Casino is a grocery specialist, this seems odd.
Again, home delivery is undeveloped in France, and
the company could look to build this up, even if only
in key urban markets such as Paris.

Euromonitor International

rance is still its key online market, generating 62% of


online sales in 2014. However, this is down from 85%
in 2009, and Casino's online sales are evolving at pace
elsewhere, notably in Brazil which generated 36% of
internet sales. Its Nova Pontocom subsidiary is the
second largest e-tailer in Brazil through its various
websites: pontofrio.com, casabahia.com.br,
extra.com.br, barateiro.com, partiuviagens.com.br and
eHub.com.br.
learly, non-traditional sales channels are performing
extremely well for the company, and it continues to
invest heavily in them. It is easier to compete against
retailing giants such as Carrefour in the digital channel,
and this is becoming a keynote Casino strategy.

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PASSPORT 34

MULTI-CHANNEL STRATEGY

New ways to shop


asino is increasingly looking to develop new
digitally-based retail formats. It was the first
retailer in France to introduce its own NFCenabled mobile app, mCasino, for contactless
shopping with a smartphone.
ost interestingly, the company has unrolled a
series of digital walls and virtual storefronts
that are located in stores as well as in busy
pedestrian areas. Customers use a
smartphone to add to a shopping cart using
NFC tags or QR codes that are digitally
displayed, then choose home or in-store
delivery and a payment method.
asino has launched these in Lyon, France, in
Thailand, where Big C has erected two digital
walls in the Bangkok metro, as well as actually
on and inside a metro train, and in Colombia,
where xito rolled out its first virtual store in
2012. In So Paulo, Po de Acar also
opened its first virtual storefront, offering a mix
of 300 products that is updated on a regular
basis.

Euromonitor International

Above: Big C's virtual shop/train on the Bangkok metro. Consumers


can capture QR codes below items to place orders while in transit,
and either collect or have the order delivered

he format is fast, intuitive and offers a more convenient experience,


whether in stores, at home or on the move. It also ties in consumers
more strongly to the fascia, allowing stores to capture and retain a
new and active clientele.
his is effectively a new retail channel, limited only by the condition of
a market's digital networks. However, as these evolve, virtual stores
are likely to emerge strongly (as they already have in South Korea)
and Casino' early start gives it a strong competitive advantage.

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PASSPORT 35

STRATEGIC EVALUATION
COMPETITIVE POSITIONING
DOMESTIC STRATEGY
INTERNATIONAL STRATEGY
MULTI-CHANNEL STRATEGY
BRAND AND PRIVATE LABEL STRATEGIES
OPERATIONS
RECOMMENDATIONS

BRAND AND PRIVATE LABEL STRATEGIES

Multi-brand key to global and domestic strategy


asino operates an unusually large number of brands, both domestically and internationally.
With the exception of Thailand and Vietnam, where the companys primary modern grocery
banner is Big C, each of its international markets has a different modern grocery banner. This
is unusual, but is partly a reflection of the companys recent growth by acquisition.
here possible, it has tried to bring new acquisitions under a larger banner, for example rolling
the Norma and Le Mutant acquisitions into Leader Price, and integrating of Carrefours Thai
outlets into the Big C portfolio. However, the company has historically acquired local retailers
in emerging markets without fully integrating their operations, in contrast to Carrefour and
Tesco, which prioritise re-branding.
n France, Casino's main modern grocery brands are Gant, Monoprix (fully acquired in 2013)
Casino and the discounter Leader Price. There is a certain amount of channel straddling;
Casino, for example, is present in hypermarkets, supermarkets and convenience stores, but
in general the company operates specialists in each channel. Its largest brand, Gant, for
example, is purely a hypermarket brand.
ts principal international brands include Extra in Brazil, xito in Colombia and Big C in
Thailand and Vietnam. Big C is the only brand with multi-channel coverage, with convenience
stores and supermarkets supporting its main channel, hypermarkets.
he multi-brand strategy prevents brand harmonisation and synergy development across the
companys portfolio. However, it does let the company develop far more localised offers than
many of its peers, and gives it flexibility.

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PASSPORT 37

BRAND AND PRIVATE LABEL STRATEGIES

More brands, more growth


asinos modern grocery retailing sales,
which generated 83% of its total 2014
value sales, posted a CAGR of 6% over
the review period, compared to a global
market CAGR of 5%. This is despite the
companys exposure to the mature
French market, and is a reflection of a
fairly brand aggressive acquisition
strategy.
ogically, the company has been buying
into more dynamic markets; its purchase
of the controlling share in Extra, for
example, makes the Brazilian brand the
largest in its portfolio. The 2012
acquisition of the French Monoprix
brand widens its footprint in Paris, and
gives it a premium aligned brand.
However, growth by acquisition for its
own sake appears to be the strategy;
this makes good sense in a very
competitive market where margin
pressure continues to rise.

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PASSPORT 38

BRAND AND PRIVATE LABEL STRATEGIES

Leader Price convenience/discounter hybrid looks risky

eader Price is the companys primary discounter banner, and one that it has
invested substantially in. According to the company, by the end of 2014,
Leader Price had 1,001 outlets in France, including a drive-through clickand-collect service available at over 100 stores. The banner outperformed
the market over the review period, as rising price sensitivity drove demand.

t the same time as German discounters Lidl and Aldi are investing in their
outlets by improving their offer and trying to make themselves a credible
alternative to supermarkets, Casino is also innovating with its brand. In
January 2015, Casino launched a new concept in France called Leader
Price Express, basically a cross between a convenience store and a
discounter.

his will strengthen the brands local retail presence, offering low prices in
smaller stores ranging from 75 sq m to 300 sq m with varied offerings
ranging from 1,180 products at small outlets to 2,900 at 300 sq m stores. In
line with discounter strategy, 80% of these items will be Leader Price private
label products.

his cross-channel step is in line with other parts of the companys strategy,
although convenience stores have historically been better able to protect
prices within the limitations of their offer. Casino has been taking prices
down in other parts of its business, but may risk cannibalising sales in its
convenience store business.

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PASSPORT 39

BRAND AND PRIVATE LABEL STRATEGIES

Monoprix allows premium differentiation


asino appears to be chasing prices to the bottom of the
market. Its aggressive price cutting at Gant saw sales
stabilise in Q1 FY 2014 and grow by 2% in Q2, and its
investment in Leader Price as well as price cutting
initiatives in Brazil, Colombia and Thailand all appear to
be securing a low price position.
owever, the multi-brand strategy cuts both ways. Most
grocery operators focused on undifferentiated middleclass consumers, but growth is forecast for the premium
end of the global market.
he 2013 completion of the Monoprix acquisition allows
Casino a more nuanced approach, and it may be able to
develop a more "boutique" approach to grocery retailing.
Monoprix is a predominantly Parisian urban banner, with a
higher number of consumers with more disposable
income.
focus on better quality and convenience-led lines could
strengthen value sales for Casino, reflecting changing
buying patterns as French consumers increasingly opt for
smaller, more frequent shopping trips in-town in order to
lower petrol costs and cut food waste.

Euromonitor International

onoprix suits this approach. However, Casino could look to


develop more premium positions in other global markets.
Its Extra and xito brands in Brazil and Colombia in
particular offer the company scope to create stronger
value positions as levels of disposable income rise. In
Brazil in particular, the Casino brand offers a strong
possibility, as it is regarded as a premium brand in the
country.

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PASSPORT 40

BRAND AND PRIVATE LABEL STRATEGIES

Private label is also multiple


he company's private label strategy, is, like its brand operations,
extremely diverse. Within France, the company operates Franprix,
Monoprix, Leader Price and Casino, the last of which is France's
leading private label brand.
hese have a multitude of sub-brands, including Casino Bio (organic),
Casino Fairtrade, Casino Bien pour Vous!, Casino Famili, Leader Price
Kids and the "Tous les jours" value brand product line.
asino also operates private label for its international banners, although
not to the same extent as it does in France, where it is estimated
private label generates over 50% of Casino's volume sales at its
hypermarkets, supermarkets and convenience stores. Nonetheless,
international markets enjoy local private label development.
he company's increasing adoption of a price-led strategy is driving
much private label development, both at home and internationally.
This includes an extension of Big C's range of value-priced products;
WOW! in Vietnam and Happy Baht in Thailand, as well as ongoing
range extensions for the group's discount banners, Leader Price in
France and Surtimax in Colombia, as well as the Assa cash-and-carry
format in Brazil.

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From top: A selection of Casino's value brands.


Colombias Surtimax, Vietnam's WOW!,
France's Tous les jours

PASSPORT 41

BRAND AND PRIVATE LABEL STRATEGIES

International growth via label, not store


asino has developed an interesting strategy to
get itself into new markets without actually
investing in new stores. Part of this is the roll
out of franchises, and its partnership
department has set up alliances with 35
retailers in 40 countries worldwide, mainly in
Africa and the Middle East, where there are
large numbers of French speakers.
ust as interestingly, the company has made a
number of distribution agreements for parts of
its private label offer. Casino and Monoprix
private label brands are thus sold in markets
including Hong Kong, Singapore and the
Philippines. In addition to providing revenue,
these partnerships allow the company Casino
to assess future growth opportunities. The fact
that the company appears to be tip-toeing
around Southeast Asian markets may suggest
that in the long term, it is looking to insert itself
more fully, and possibly enter China. Using its
brands as an equity building bridge may
simplify this.

Euromonitor International

Above - Casino has distribution and franchising agreements in a large number of small,
possibly marginal markets. These include St Martin, Guadeloupe, Martinique and
Guyana in Latin America, Senegal, Burkina Faso, Niger, Benin, Congo, Cameroon, Togo,
Cte dIvoire and Gabon in West Africa, Kuwait, Qatar and Bahrain in the Middle East
and Hong Kong and Singapore in Southeast Asia. None of these is likely to deliver
massive revenue, but all help to build brand equity and could be used as bridges to
larger neighbouring markets.

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PASSPORT 42

STRATEGIC EVALUATION
COMPETITIVE POSITIONING
DOMESTIC STRATEGY
INTERNATIONAL STRATEGY
MULTI-CHANNEL STRATEGY
BRAND AND PRIVATE LABEL STRATEGIES
OPERATIONS
RECOMMENDATIONS

OPERATIONS

Convenience stores remain the backbone of Casino's network


asino operates in a variety of retail channels in France, of which its principal brands are listed below.
Convenience stores represent the majority of the network, although most of this is franchised; all of its Vidal
Superettes, for example, are franchised, as are almost all of its Spar stores.
Banner Names and Numbers in France

21.5

Market

Retail name

France

Gant Casino hypermarkets

126

Casino supermarkets

444

Franprix supermarkets

885

Monoprix supermarkets

585

Leader Price discount


outlets

619

Petit Casino superettes

Number of stores

1,314

Spar superettes

930

Casino Shop superettes

161

Vival superettes

1,688

Source: http://www.groupe-casino.fr/en/activities/france

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PASSPORT 44

OPERATIONS

International retail operations 2014 (1)


Casino's
primary international markets are listed below. The companys focus is on a small number of emerging markets, having exited a number of
others over the review period including Venezuela and Switzerland. Following the GPA acquisition, Brazil is the company's largest market.

Banner Names and Numbers in Latin America


Market
Retail name
Argentina
Libertad hypermarkets
Other stores
Brazil
Extra hypermarkets
Po de Acar supermarkets
21.5
Sendas supermarkets
Extra supermarkets
CompreBem supermarkets
Assa discount outlets
Extra Facil and Minimercado Extra superettes
Ponto Frio
Casas Bahia
Colombia
xito hypermarkets
Pomona, Carulla and xito supermarkets
Surtimax discount outlets
xito Express and Carulla Express
Other stores
Uruguay
Gant hypermarkets
Disco supermarkets
Devoto supermarkets
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Number of stores
15
7
138
168
17
213
113
75
164
397
601
85
145
415
91
3
2
28
24
PASSPORT 45

OPERATIONS

International retail operations 2014 (2)


Banner Names and Numbers in Asia Pacific
Market

Retail name

Thailand

Big C hypermarkets

119

Big C supermarkets

30

21.5

Vietnam

Euromonitor International

Number of stores

Mini Big C superettes

278

Pure

132

Big C hypermarkets

25

Superettes

10

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PASSPORT 46

STRATEGIC EVALUATION
COMPETITIVE POSITIONING
DOMESTIC STRATEGY
INTERNATIONAL STRATEGY
MULTI-CHANNEL STRATEGY
BRAND AND PRIVATE LABEL STRATEGIES
OPERATIONS
RECOMMENDATIONS

RECOMMENDATIONS

Key recommendations
Online delivery may add value
asino has a well-established
online operation in France, and
has shown itself to be an
adventurous and innovative
retailer. Its completion of the
Monoprix acquisition in 2013, a
more premium positioned fascia,
gives it a platform to develop
home delivery, at least in the
more compact and affluent
Parisian market. Online delivery
remains underdeveloped in
France, and this could be a good
opportunity to differentiate itself
from peers such as Carrefour. At
the same time, it could offer
greater value protection at a time
when the company is engaged in
price slashing throughout most of
its domestic and international
businesses.

Euromonitor International

Acquisitions to build scale


asino is a leading French retailer
with ambitions to expand
internationally. However, it lacks
the scale to compete with its
larger peers, and in the current
economic climate, which favours
massive chained grocers, able
to build economies of scale,
needs to bulk up. Buying share
in emerging markets to
strengthen its position, ideally
within range of its international
markets in Latin America and
Southeast Asia is one way of
doing this. Not only will it drive
value growth, but as the
company seeks to build brand
equity and its click-and-collect
business, new outlets let it sell
more private label and reach
more consumers.
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Segmenting value
he company has rejigged much
of its retail portfolio over the
review period, partly thanks to
acquisition and also as part of a
strategy to have the most
effective offer. Much of its recent
activity in France has been
focused on the Leader Price
discount chain. French
consumer price sensitivity is
likely to worsen over the
forecast period, as the economy
shows few signs of recovery,
and as such Casinos strategy is
well timed. However, it could
also look to develop alternative
price positions in other parts of
its business, as the pursuit of
the lowest possible price will
limit margin development.

PASSPORT 48

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