LEVALLOIS-PERRET, FRANCE: Carrefour is to rebrand its 1,000-strong Champion supermarket chain as Carrefour Market. Carrefour said a trial of 13 Champion stores had been successful and that the new name would now be rolled across the whole chain. Carrefour said that the test stores had enjoyed sales uplifts of 10%-15% and that an uplift of 5%-10% was expected across the entire Champion chain. It will spend €200m (£156m) taken from its existing capital budgets to rebrand the stores, with 100 sites being turned into Carrefour Markets by the end of 2008 and another 700 conversions coming through in 2009. The move is part of a wider strategy to unify dozens of sub-brands around the world under the Carrefour banner in an effort to simplify the business and push own-label sales.
Wal-Mart readies logo revamp
BENTONVILLE, ARKANSAS: Wal-Mart is changing its logo for the first time in 16 years. According to reports in the US press, the new logo will remove the hyphen in the company's name and will feature white lettering on an orange background, followed by a small starburst. Wal-Mart said it would start replacing store-front logos in the US this autumn. "This logo update is simply a reflection of the refreshed image of our stores and our renewed sense of purpose of helping people save money so they can live better," a spokesman for the company said, adding that the move would reflect changes customers have already seen in some store signs and advertisements. Wal-Mart last overhauled its logo in 1992.
Discount duo get merger go-ahead
BONN, GERMANY: The merger of Tengelmann and Edeka's discount supermarket chains, Plus and Netto, has been approved by Germany's Federal Cartel Office, subject to Tengelmann selling almost 400 Plus outlets. Reports claim the company may consider shutting some stores if it cannot find a buyer. Aldi and Lidl have ruled out bids but it is thought there are potential buyers interested in the stores. Germany's food retail market is dominated by five retailers, with Edeka accounting for 25% of the market. Fears had been raised that co-operation between Tengelmann and Edeka would harm competition.
Del Monte to sell seafood arm
SAN FRANCISCO: Del Monte is to sell its seafood business, including the StarKist brand, to South Korean company Dongwon Enterprise for $363m (£182m) as it focuses on higher-margin produce and pet foods. Del Monte said the said the sell-off would improve margins and reduce debt. In fiscal 2008, the seafood business generated about $560m (£281m) in sales. "Given the unique dynamics of our seafood business, including its heavy dependence on a single input cost and participation in a comparatively lower growth category, StarKist was no longer an ideal fit for Del Monte, given our sharpened strategic focus going forward," said chief executive Rick Wolford.