Carrefour’s history began in 1959, following a meeting between Marcel Fournier, owner of a novelties shop in Annecy, and the Badin-Defforey family, a food wholesaler in Lagnieu (l’Ain).
1959: creation of Carrefour
1960: opening of the first Carrefour supermarket
From entrepreneurial families, Marcel Fournier and Denis Defforey tested the self-service techniques, first in a 200m2 sales area, before opening an 850m2 supermarket at the crossroads of Avenue Parmelan and Avenue André Theuriet in Annecy in June 1960.
1963: opening of the first hypermarket
Inspired by the United States, Carrefour’s founder opened the first hypermarket in France in Sainte-Geneviève-des-Bois (91) on 15 July 1963. The hypermarket was the first of its kind in France and offered a vast range of products at low prices over a 2,500m² self-service sales area with 400 free parking spaces.
1966: creation of the iconic Carrefour logo
The Carrefour logo was created for the opening of the Vénissieux hypermarket: it depicts the “C” for Carrefour, in the middle of a diamond, red to the left, blue to the right, with black lines at the top and bottom. The logo evolved rapidly: the black lines disappeared making the “C” less obvious.
1981: Carrefour launches the PASS card
Carrefour launched the PASS card, both a credit card and a customer loyalty card. After three years, 200,000 people signed up for the PASS card and over 4 million transactions were recorded.
1992: Carrefour invests in the quality and safety of our products
The launch of Carrefour Quality Lines and Carrefour organic products with the “boule Bio” organic loaf in 1992, in response to changes in consumer concerns.
1993: Carrefour continues to expand internationally
The Group opened its first stores in Italy in 1993, then China in 1995.
1996: Carrefour, an inclusive group tackling food waste
The Group enters its first partnerships with the Food Banks to help disadvantaged people and limit food waste. Carrefour offers its logistics support to ensure compliance with cold chain requirements.
1997: Carrefour continues to expand internationally and launches the Reflets de France brand
Carrefour’s international expansion continues with the opening of its first stores in Poland.
The Group expands its offering with its “Reflets de France” authentic recipe product brand, promoting regional culinary heritage.
1999: Carrefour becomes the world’s second largest retail business
On 30 August 1999, Carrefour launched a public exchange offer for shares in Promodès, established in 1961. The merger of Carrefour and Promodès results in the second largest retailer in the world with 240,000 employees and 9,000 stores.
2000: launch of the on-line supermarket Ooshop
As e-commerce was just starting to take off, Carrefour launched its on-line supermarket Ooshop in 2000 with 6,000 products including a thousand fresh products.
Carrefour’s growth continues with the opening in 2001 of the first store in Romania.
2005: Carrefour reinforces its international presence
At the start of the 2000s, the Group bolstered its positions in numerous countries through targeted acquisitions: in France, Romania (Hyparlo, Artima, Penny Market), Belgium (GB), Poland (Ahold), Italy (GS), Brazil (Atacadão), Argentina (North) and Spain (Plus).
2008: the Champion brand becomes Carrefour Market
The Group undertakes a vast store renovation programme in order to give them all the Carrefour identity. The Champion brand disappeared and was replaced by Carrefour Market. In France, 1,000 stores were renovated and offered a wider product and services offering, as well as access to the Carrefour loyalty programme.
2013: Carrefour celebrates 50 years since its first hypermarket and moves into Africa
In 2013, the group embarked upon a modernisation programme. In France, this covered 49 hypermarkets and 83 supermarkets during the first year. Carrefour joins forces with the CFAO group to develop different Carrefour store formats in West and Central Africa.
2014: Carrefour becomes involved in shopping centre management
In 2014, Carrefour created Carmila, a company specialised in leveraging the value of its shopping centres adjoining hypermarkets in France, Spain and Italy.
In France, the Carrefour Group acquired Dia stores and integrated 128 Coop Alsace stores.
2016: Carrefour invests in e-commerce and in convenience brands
The Group acquires Rue du Commerce and Greenweez in France and launches new e-commerce activities in China, Poland, Argentina and Brazil. Carrefour continues its expansion by buying Billa supermarkets in Romania and Eroski in Spain.