Last Updated on 2023-06-02 , 1:22 pm
Do you recall Carrefour in Singapore? It was an enormous hypermarket, with Carrefour Suntec City and Carrefour Singapore location in Plaza Singapura being iconic.
What thoughts does the mention of the Carrefour supermarket bring to your mind?
For me, Carrefour Singapore leaves an impression of vastness, exclusivity, and a one-stop-shop for everything you might need; whether furniture, electronics, or groceries.
Essentially, Carrefour Suntec City and other locations were the “theme park” of all supermarkets in Singapore, simply due to their size and variety.
But why did such a large hypermarket disappear from Singapore? Let’s delve deeper.
The Unravelling of Carrefour Singapore
Carrefour Supermarket, a French hypermarket chain, is the world’s second-largest mega-retailer, trailing only the US giant, Walmart, in terms of revenue.
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However, after 15 years of operations, Carrefour decided to wind up their operations in Singapore, Thailand, and Malaysia.
Reportedly, Carrefour Singapore struggled to secure a leadership position in the medium and long term in Singapore, primarily due to its pricing strategy and outlet locations.
The National University of Singapore’s Business Times suggested that Carrefour Singapore failed to compete in terms of location because it was situated right in the heart of the city.
Competitors like Cold Storage, FairPrice, and Giant are scattered across residential areas across the island, making them preferred destinations for many Singaporeans for their grocery needs.
So, the Carrefour Singapore location in the city centre seemed less appealing.
Carrefour’s Pricing Strategy
Pricing was the second stumbling block. While Carrefour Singapore’s products were perceived as more premium, they were also priced higher.
Additionally, their products lacked a unique selling point, leading to a lack of motivation for customers to pay more for similar products.
The high rental costs in the central district only exacerbated the issue.
As such, it is conjectured that Carrefour failed to operate successfully in Singapore due to their unfamiliarity with the local market and culture.
As a point of contrast, Giant from Malaysia has thrived because they recognize the importance of strategic locations and competitive pricing.
Carrefour Isn’t Entirely Gone
Therefore, in 2012, Carrefour Singapore announced that it would exit Singapore, stating that “they were not competitive enough.”
But does this mean we won’t see their brand name in Singapore again? Unfortunately, they have no plans to return.
However, if you shop at Fairprice Xtra and Cold Storage, you may spot some Carrefour France products being sold there.
These products are branded and marketed by the respective supermarkets as premium products.
Despite its physical absence, Carrefour in Singapore remains a part of our shopping experience in a small way.
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