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Leclerc wants to dethrone Carrefour by 2015

By Giulia Cambieri

The competition to control France’s retail market is now between two family businesses, as Leclerc wants to take over rival Carrefour's status as the country’s largest hypermarket chain in the next four years.

“Our objective is to dethrone Carrefour between now and 2015, thanks to an annual growth rate of 4.5% to 5.5% a year,” the group’s chief executive, Michel-Edouard Leclerc, told French newspaper Le Monde.

Leclerc added he wants to increase the company’s market share by half a percentage in 2012, up to 18%, from 17.5% this year.

The group, which is currently France’s second-largest retailer after Carrefour, aims to achieve this by dropping its prices and improving its online sales, Leclerc also said.

This year, Carrefour, controlled by the Halley family, issued five profits warnings and reported a 4.4% decline in its third-quarter sales.

Founded by Édouard Leclerc in 1949, Leclerc has a presence in many European countries, including Poland, Italy, Portugal and Spain. In 2010, it reported revenues excluding fuel of €31 billion. 

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