Carrefour Taiwan (家樂福) yesterday finalized the purchase of Wellcome Taiwan Co (惠康百貨), bringing all Wellcome supermarkets and Jasons Market Place stores nationwide under its brand, the hypermarket chain operator said as the first converted Wellcome store reopened as a Carrefour outlet in Taipei.
The company expects to convert Wellcome stores to Carrefour supermarkets at a rate of 36 to 40 a month and complete the conversions nationwide by August, Carrefour Taiwan president Wang Chun-chao (王俊超) said.
Wellcome Taiwan, which was launched in 1987 by Hong Kong-based Dairy Farm International Holdings (牛奶國際控股), was Taiwan’s largest supermarket chain, before French hypermarket chain Carrefour SA in June last year announced its acquisition.
Photo courtesy of Carrefour Taiwan
The deal includes 199 Wellcome supermarkets, 25 Jasons Market Place stores and a warehouse in Taoyuan, Carrefour Taiwan said.
Same-store sales for converted Wellcome stores are expected to grow 10 to 15 percent after coming under the Carrefour banner, Wang said.
The first converted store is on Taipei’s Dunhua N Road, covering 200 ping (661m2).
It is the first Carrefour supermarket in Taiwan that features a coffee shop, a dining area and kitchen facilities, the company said, adding that another Wellcome store is to reopen as a Carrefour supermarket today in Nangang District (南港).
However, the high-end Jasons Market Place stores would continue to operate under their own name for another two years, he said.
People with Wellcome loyalty cards can transfer their points to Carrefour’s loyalty card program, while former Wellcome employees would see their seniority and salary levels carry over, Wang said.
Carrefour currently operates 66 big-box hypermarkets and 66 supermarkets in Taiwan. With the acquisition of Wellcome, that number is to rise to 66 big-box hypermarkets, 262 supermarkets and 25 Jasons Market Place stores.
Carrefour Taiwan has set a revenue target of NT$90 billion (US$3.2 billion) for this year, NT$20 billion of which is expected to come from the former Wellcome stores, Wang said.
“The Wellcome group has cultivated the Taiwanese market for 34 years, and this deal is an alliance of two strong partners,” he said.
Carrefour Taiwan said once all the Wellcome supermarkets have been converted to its brand, it would work on e-commerce and store pickup services to better serve its customers.
Carrefour Taiwan’s headcount would increase from 14,000 to 17,000 employees, Wang said.
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