Multilingual Business Communication

November 3, 2008

Carrefour fails to communicate

Filed under: business communication, crisis communication — Tags: , , , , — meertaligebedrijfscommunicatie @ 2:52 pm

Recently, Carrefour Belgium opened a new department store in Bruges, which is referred to as a hypermarket, since it is one of the hugest supermarkets Carrefour now owns in Belgium. On Carrefour Belgium’s website, an important communication tool, the emphasis is on the efforts that the company makes to score better on the scale of sustainable development – better known as the three P’s: Planet, Profit, People. However, trade unions stress how Carrefour failed to meet the needs of the third P (People). As long as those needs are not met, they call out on strike and prevent local Carrefour supermarkets from opening. Carrefour thus failed to keep those promises that are uttered on the website.

Trade unions complain about the fact that the employees in Bruges would earn 25% less and would have to be more polyvalent and flexible than their equals in other Belgian Carrefour supermarkets. The trade unions blame Carrefour for having found an egress to have its personnel work under different salary conditions. Carrefour’s answer to these industrial actions is that they respect the right to strike, but much to their regret the right to work and the right to shop are not respected by the trade unions. I, personally, think Carrefour fails to communicate in this crisis they are in. They keep hammering on the fact that they created 150 new jobs in a time of worldwide economic regression, that the employees in Bruges are glad to work there and that they act in accordance with law, but I would suggest they come up with new proposals and start the dialogue instead of calling the kettle black. Because Joe Sixpack now only hears the voice of the trade unions, which will not strengthen Carrefour’s image.

Ironically, this entire crisis has been good for some People (the third P), namely the poor. Some products in the Carrefour supermarkets that are prevented from opening are sent to Poverello, a charity organisation, because otherwise they would expire…

Sources:

Website Carrefour
Website De Morgen September 30th
Website De Morgen Octobre 16th
Website De Morgen Octobre 16th
Website De Morgen Octobre 17th
Website De Morgen Octobre 22nd
Website De Morgen Octobre 24th
Website De Morgen Octobre 28th

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3 Comments »

  1. Carrefour indeed proudly stresses how they have created extra jobs in the midst of a financial crisis. Small remark here: they seem to neglect the closing of a Carrefour Express shop in Antwerp, opened just one year ago. The company claims that recurring problems with shoplifting, fights and junkies forced them to close the shop.
    The real problem Carrefour faces is bigger than a bad shop location or angry employees. Carrefour has experienced an important fall in turnover as many clients turn to better positioned competitors: the cheaper Colruyt or perhaps even Delhaize, presenting an image of quality. In my opinion Carrefour should, especially in difficult times like these, think a little more before it acts; on its locations, communication policy, positioning…

    Comment by Trui Lagae — November 14, 2008 @ 2:16 pm

  2. My main comment for your post is your layout.
    You have used both bold and underlining to stress words. This works very distractingly. Limit yourself to one method of emphasising only, preferably italics as this is the least obtrusive.
    Your links are also quite long. You can actually avoid this, by using one word in you text to ‘carry’ the link.

    Recently, Carrefour Belgium opened a new department store in Bruges, which is referred to as a hypermarket, since it is one of the most huge [hugest] supermarkets Carrefour now owns in Belgium [this is a very complex sentence. your flow needs work] . On Carrefour Belgium’s website, [the] emphasis is on the efforts that the company made [makes] to score better on the scale of sustainable development – better known as the three P’s: Planet, Profit, People. Trade unions stress however, how Carrefour [However, the trade unions stress how Carrefour] failed to meet the needs of the third P (People). As long as those needs aren’t met, they call out on strike and prevent local Carrefour supermarkets from opening.

    Trade unions complain about the fact that the employees in Bruges would earn 25% less and would have to be more polyvalent and flexible than their equals in other Belgian Carrefour supermarkets. The trade unions blame Carrefour for having found an egress to have its personnel work under different salary conditions and already called out several strikes. [repetition of something you have already said!] Carrefour’s answer to these industrial actions is that they respect the right to strike, but much to their regret the right to work and the right to shop aren’t respected by the trade unions. I, personally, think Carrefour fails to communicate in this crisis they’re in. They keep hammering on the fact that they created 150 new jobs in a time of worldwide economic regression, that the employees in Bruges are glad to work there and that they act in accordance with law, but I would suggest they come up with new proposals and start the dialogue instead of calling the kettle black. Because Joe Sixpack now only hears the voice of the trade unions, which won’t strenghten [strengthen] Carrefour’s image.
    [this last part is actually the most important one. This is why your writing this post. You should therefore elaborate on it and make this evident from the beginning]

    Ironically, this entire crisis has been good for some People (the third P), namely the poor. Some products in the Carrefour supermarkets that are prevented from opening are sent to Poverello, a charity organisation, because otherwise they would expire…

    [your title is a bit strange. It is difficult to see a clear link between your title and your post]

    Comment by Marilyn Michels — November 16, 2008 @ 11:07 am

  3. I agree with you, Lore, when you say that Carrefour failed to communicate in this crisis. I also want to add that it was a very bad idea of the management of Carrefour to repeatedly send an enforcement officer to break up the blockages at the stores, instead of trying to reach an agreement through a social mediator. By playing it the hard way the conflict only escalated and caused the trade-union members to extend their actions. If Carrefour had started up a dialogue right away, it would not have lost hundreds of thousands of euros.

    Liesbeth Van Den Mosselaer

    Comment by Liesbeth Van Den Mosselaer — April 9, 2009 @ 2:43 pm


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