Us Ambassador To Armenia Hopes For Opening Of Carrefour Chain Of Hyp

US AMBASSADOR TO ARMENIA HOPES FOR OPENING OF CARREFOUR CHAIN OF HYPERMARKETS IN ARMENIA

ARMINFO
Wednesday, February 6, 13:36

“Hear Carrefour wants to open in Yerevan. I used to shop there in
Brussels. Would be good for competition here. Hope it happens,” US
Ambassador to Armenia John Heffern wrote in his micro-blog on Twitter.

The entry of the large retail network of Carrefour hypermarkets, which
leaves an impression of an extended intrigue, has apparently ended in
departure of the French retailer from Armenia. According to the rumors
disseminated by some media, the leadership of Dalma Garden Mall in
the person of the well-known Armenian entrepreneur Samvel Karapetyan
has cancelled the contract with the European retail network Carrefour
on the lease of business premises for the hypermarket. According to
some media’s information, the key person “to be blamed for it” is
Samvel Alexanyan, the Armenian oligarch importing essential goods,
the owner of the large network of Yerevan City supermarkets.

Dalma Garden Mall says that is very busy and does not comment on this
information. The Armenian Office of Carrefour also keeps silence. It
is the long and insistent silence of both parties, as well as the new
wave of rumors in the mass media that make it doubtless that due to the
opposition of the oligarch-importers at power and the foreign investor,
one of the largest retail networks in Europe will not be admitted
to Armenia. The case with the French retailer Carrefour once again
demonstrates the strong monopolistic nature of the Armenian market,
which is totally closed for the external world.

To note, according to the reliable sources of the agency, the Carrefour
hypermarket in Yerevan was to work on the basis of a franchise owned
by a large U.A.E. developer Majid Al Futtaim Holding (MAF). “We
are already working in 13 countries of the world. We have recently
included several CIS countries in our portfolio, among them Kazakhstan,
Azerbaijan, Georgia and Armenia”, MAF Chief Executive Officer said to
Russkiye Emiraty. The company has already opened its first Carrefour
supermarket in Georgia and is going to open a store in Azerbaijan. To
recall, at present MAF has already 45 supermarkets.

To note, by the number of its stores (over 15 thsd) Carrefour Group
(France) holds the first position in Europe and the second position in
the world. Carrefour hypermarkets’ assortment includes up to 80,000
food and non-food items. The total staff consists of over 400 thsd
people. Nothing has been said about the investments in the opening of
the hypermarket in Yerevan, however, experts estimated the investments
at 6-8 mln USD.

To note, by ArmInfo’s data, Majid Al Futtaim Holding (U.A.E.), the
Carrefour franchise holder, started to consider its possible entry
into Armenian market a couple of years ago. Observers think that the
opening of Carrefour in Armenia could have had a strong impact on
the competitive environment in the sphere of organized retail trade,
which is actually divided into 2 large networks owned by oligarch
parliamentarians.

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