Carrefour China​ – Failure Case Study

Carrefour is a French retailer that failed to understand Chinese consumers and has become irrelevant due to the changing retail environment in the country.

Carrefour, which entered the Chinese market in 1995, decided to exit the country after selling a majority stake at a discount in 2019. Despite rising purchasing power and an expanding retail industry in the country, Carrefour China’s net sales have seen a YOY decline of 5.9%.


– The company could not compete with its local competitors in new store concepts and adoption of digital ecosystems, pushing away consumers.

– Suppliers and store managers, who are important to understand consumers, grew dissatisfied with the company during its last few years.

– Rising rental and labor costs also played a key part in pulling the company further down.

– Technology plays an important role in Chinese society, with a huge number of digital natives and tech-savvy Millennials.

– Lower prices and short delivery times have become standard practices in China, where Carrefour lagged.

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Companies mentioned





Costco Wholesale



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