Carrefour retains lead as Taiwan’s number one hypermarket as retail sector booms

The China Post staff

In recent years, the performance of large foreign retailers in Taiwan, including Carrefour, RT-Mart, Far East Geant and Makro, have enjoyed a rapid growth in sales. Carrefour, having maintained the leading position for the past 2 years, remained number one in terms of operating profit last year among all hypermarket chains in Taiwan, with NT$40 billion, up 6 percent from the previous year.

“With 24 hypermarkets, our company sales revenue for 1999 reached NT$38.5 billion,” said Alison Kao, North Region, Public Affairs & Service, Carrefour Taiwan.

Carrefour is a joint venture hypermarket chain operated by the Uni-President Group, the largest food manufacturer in Taiwan, and Carrefour of France. According to Kao, Carrefour plans to set up two new stores this year, one in Chungli’s Metro Walk Shopping Center, the other located at a facility purchased from TAA in Kaoshiung County.

Faced with Taiwan’s weakening economy and the challenge of WTO entry, Carrefour is optimistic that globalization of the local retailing market will enhance competitiveness and provide consumers with better products and services.

In the course of this year, several hypermarkets, such as RT-Mart and Tesco, are set to add new stores in Taoyuan County and Chungli City.

According to Chinese language newspaper reports, thanks to investment from Ruentex Group, RT-Mart became the second largest hypermarket chain last year with 16 stores and sales revenues of NT$26 billion. Based on a franchise system, RT-Mart has rapidly extended its business operations by taking over two competitors and increasing the number of stores. Meanwhile, RT-Mart’s average sales revenue from a single store is higher than other stores totaling NT$162 million.

Since the establishment of its first store in Taiwan last year, Tesco, the U.K.’s largest retailer will open three more stores in Tainan City, Taoyuan City and Chungli City this year. As a key component of Tesco’s Asian expansion plans, the company hopes to open 22 stores around the island over the next four years.