New opportunities and new markets top of mind at WRC 08

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Carrefour to enter Russia
Hypermarket major Carrefour will be entering Russia next year with two stores, one of which will open in Moscow, Jose Luis Duran, CEO, Carrefour, has confirmed. Speaking to Indiaretailing on the sidelines of World Retail Congress 08, which opened in Barcelona yesterday, Duran said that the world’s second largest retailer’s focus will be on continuing to deliver differentiation and expanding into new territories.

Duran also pointed out that while retailers worldwide need to develop cost-effective strategies to beat the impacts of rising energy costs and inflation, Carrefour has been able to negate the impacts of the ongoing global impacts of these factors due to a superior supply chain and operational efficiencies that enable it to deliver benefits to the consumer.

Ikea to offset western downturns with emerging market growth
Andres Dahlvig, president and CEO of Ikea Group, has admitted that the Swedish home-improvement chain’s sales in the United States, the United Kingdom and other western European markets including Germany have slowed, leading the retailer to study opportunities in developing countries more closely.

“We see bad times as a potential. What downturns do is to encourage a broadening of focus. Yes, there are challenges in the western world right now, but then there are opportunities in the developing world also,” he said.

In Dahlvig’s list of promising markets are China, Russia, and the former Eastern Bloc countries including Croatia, Slovenia, and Czech Republic. On India, he indicated quite clearly that Ikea is not considering entering the country on a partnership or a franchise route, preferring instead to look out for opportunities to make a standalone entry. “I think our strategy is to wait for the legislation in India to free itself a bit more before we start talking about this market,” he said.

– Nupur Chakraborty

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