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Uni-President Group Optimistic About Reviving Carrefour Taiwan Operations After Stagnation

Chairman Chih-Hsien Lo outlines the challenges and recovery plans for Carrefour Taiwan, aiming for expansion despite past setbacks
Taiwan
u 1216.TW Blue Chip 150 Consumer 250 OM 60
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Uni-President Group’s Chairman, Chih-Hsien Lo, recently shed light on the prolonged stagnation in the acquisition of Carrefour Taiwan shares, a process that has been idle for three years. However, Lo expressed a renewed sense of optimism, signaling that the recovery phase for Carrefour Taiwan is set to commence this year. The ambitious acquisition initially faced a halt as Carrefour’s French headquarters put a pause on all active developments in Taiwan, leading to a period of caretaker operations.

During this standstill, Carrefour Taiwan experienced a significant revenue drop of 10 billion yuan, attributed to expiring leases and the unfortunate incident of a major store burning down, which was attributed to an accidental fire caused by children. The aftermath saw a challenging period of reconstruction, taking nine months to get the store back in operation.

Addressing the future expansion plans, Lo indicated the challenges in scaling Carrefour’s operations to 500 stores, emphasizing the difficulty of finding suitable locations for such an extensive rollout. Despite these challenges, he remains optimistic about the growth potential, suggesting that both Carrefour and Uni-President Supermarket have their distinct developmental niches within the group’s portfolio, contributing uniquely to the conglomerate’s success.

Lo also highlighted the cultural integration efforts within Carrefour Taiwan, referencing the annual tradition of selecting a representative word that embodies the company’s vision for the year. Last year’s word “melt” aimed to symbolize the passionate integration post-acquisition, a goal that was ironically tested by the fire incident at the Zhongyuan store.

As the Uni-President Group gears up to rejuvenate Carrefour Taiwan’s operations, the focus is not just on expansion but also on ensuring operational safety and solidifying the synergy between the two entities. The journey ahead is aimed at transforming these challenges into a strengthened strategy for growth, revitalizing Carrefour Taiwan’s presence in the retail market while upholding the legacy and operational excellence that both companies are renowned for.

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