French supermarket giant Carrefour expands in Taiwan amid China retreat
French supermarket giant Carrefour announced on Tuesday that it will pay €97 million (US$108m) to take over all 199 Wellcome and 25 JASONS Market Place stores in Taiwan by the end of the year, Taiwan News reports.
At present, Carrefour runs 137 outlets in the country, including 69 smaller convenience stores. Within 12 months of the transfer, the name Wellcome will vanish from Taiwan's streets after a presence spanning 34 years. The Jasons brand, which launched on the island in 2003, will also disappear.
The two chains are owned by Hong Kong-based Dairy Farm International Holdings Limited, a unit of the Jardine Matheson Group.
French-based Carrefour said it wanted to speed up the expansion of its retail activities in Taiwan. Even after the takeover, the original Wellcome stores would continue to specialize in offering fresh produce, while the Jasons outlets would stay as high-end supermarkets. At the same time, the Carrefour group said it was strengthening its online presence.
While it expands in Taiwan, Carrefour is retreating from the highly competitive Chinese market where, last year, it sold 80% of its loss-making operations to electronics retailer Suning.com, Reuters reports.