Multilingual Business Communication

April 5, 2009

Carrefour buries GB

Filed under: Karen Decabooter, marketing communication — meertaligebedrijfscommunicatie @ 8:01 pm


A few days ago, Belgian newspapers, including De Tijd and De Standaard,  announced that Carrefour will bury the brand name GB forever. Shortly, the French giant will present itself on the Belgian market with one unique brand name, Carrefour, and with fresh products as its signboard.

Although Carrefour had already replaced the GB labels by Carrefour labels  in the GB supermarkets, these supermarkets still carried the name GB. It took Carrefour nine years to decide that the name GB will disappear forever in all shops. With this, Carrefour complies with the request of clients to use one brand name in order to avoid confusion. It is also a remedy for the fact that the brand name GB has become less popular. Hilde Decadt, who is responsible for the integration of the supermarkets, confirms that 70% of the GB shops will carry the name Carrefour Hyper, Carrefour Market or Carrefour Express by the end of 2009.

In my opinion, this is a good marketing strategy. The past few years, the market share of Carrefour has decreased from 30% to 26%. Keeping in mind that the market share of runner-up Delhaize is 25%, Carrefour definitely needed a new competitive strategy. The name change is coupled with an extension of Carrefour’s own label products and with an introduction of thirty new Carrefour shops. Moreover, € 50 million will be invested in promotions to increase the purchasing power of clients. Since Carrefour cannot win the price battle from Colruyt, the management decided to use fresh products as the company’s signboard. In imitation of its competitors, Carrefour will also introduce an e-shop. In other words, the future of Carrefour looks rose-coloured.    R.I.P. GB. 

(Karen Decabooter)



  1. I also think that this is a good marketing strategy. Today’s retail industry is definitely about fighting the battle, fleeing is not an (or not a very good) option. Carrefour is indeed losing its market share and has to struggle against Colruyt and Delhaize.
    This summer Carrefour will also launch an e-shop for alimentation, where consumers can order their groceries via the Internet.

    Nathalie Poelaert

    Comment by meertaligebedrijfscommunicatie — April 7, 2009 @ 7:39 am

  2. Yes, this decision by Carrefour can’t be called a bad one. The existence of so many brand names can be quite confusing. But I wouldn’t go so far as to call their marketing strategy in general effective. While Delhaize and Colruyt have their own specific image, Carrefour’s image seems to be swarming all over the place. For their latest copycat strategy they have replaced the old system of happy days cards with a bonus card, resembling the one Delhaize is known for. My advice to Carrefour: Stick to your own strengths, build on what you’re good at and don’t try copying others too much.

    Valérie Debrauwere

    Comment by meertaligebedrijfscommunicatie — April 7, 2009 @ 11:47 am

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