How to enter in Carrefour China?

If you are searching buyers in Carrefour, and want to sell your products in Carrefour China, this article is for you.

Why choosing Carrefour China?

When the French group Carrefour entered the Chinese market in 1995, it came with the idea of “learning by doing” to find which strategy will be the most efficient for this market.

Today, 家乐福 (Carrefour Chinese name) is well established in China:

  • 210 hypermarkets and 24 convenience stores
  • An estimated number of more than 25,000 references
  • 80% of which are food products
  • Partnership with the Chinese giant WeChat (from Tencent)
  • Digitalization of stores in the process (QR codes and scan system)

Thanks to its “learning by doing” strategy, 家乐福 learned a lot about Chinese people tastes:

  • Their preferences were different according to their location
  • Depending on each store’s customer base, the ratio of local and imported products offered is balanced
  • The same thing for the fresh/frozen products ratio: 家乐福 adapted its stocks depending on the demand (which is usually also related to a store’s location)

Yes, it is easy to understand that Carrefour has quickly become one of the main large distributors in China, it is even a success story example taught in French business schools! That makes Carrefour a must for products that rely on the large distribution world.

This is the moment you ask us how you can get your products on Carrefour’s Chinese shelves? Here is a little guide just for you!

Where to start to enter Carrefour China?

  1. Contact them

It is not that hard. You won’t have to spend hours looking for the right contact or check if you have people in your network that could help you to reach a contact working in Carrefour China.

You can simply contact 家乐福 by sending them an email to the address you can find in the Cooperation Contact section on their Chinese website.

But before sending your email, you should clearly know what you are talking about. Chinese people do business with people they know, so you will probably meet buyers in person. The goal of your email should be to get an interview to discuss further your product.

  • Prepare for the interview

Once you will get the interview, which can take time and sometimes requires sending reminders, you have to know perfectly your speech.

You must prepare everything: know the key numbers, what are your key assets, what you will bring to them, to which extent you stand out from your competitors, etc…

But the most important point about this type of business meeting is your margin. It is well known that this is a difficult topic for the product owner, but you will have to be prepared for contingencies and negotiations.

You should be ready to hear harsh margins for you and know how far you can accept or refuse the negotiation.

Negociation are tough

Of course, you don’t have to accept everything they will offer: there exist two levers you can use to weigh during negotiations with Carrefour.

The first is to know exactly why you will not accept under a certain threshold. Your product’s quality? Its unique feature? Or a very innovative feature? Even better: make them understand they NEED you! This is a real game-changer in negotiations.

The second lever is to show your commercial potential. Demonstrating that you already know how you will build your customer base thanks to the marketing campaign you already thought about is the best ally you can have. Whether it is sold here or there, your product will be sold anyway! This is an argument that negotiators won’t be able to face.

The Key : good branding

But how to build your customer base? How to create the best marketing campaign possible in China?

You have to get a name on the Chinese market. Be seen and of course be attractive! And you can do all of these in China with only one type of tool: the digital world.

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