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Carrefour SA Retailer snubs fiscal crisis

CARREFOUR SA, Europe's biggest retailer, will increase the number of store openings in China this year by almost a third and ramp up promotions to boost sales amid the global recession, said a company executive.

The Paris-based company plans to open 28 stores in China this year, compared with 22 last year, Patrick Ganaye, vice president of the company's country operations, said at a briefing in Shanghai yesterday. Sales are expected to grow more than 15 percent this year, similar to the rate in recent years, he said.

Slowing economic growth in China and the biggest export decline in almost a decade in December are hurting retailers such as Parkson Retail Group Ltd, which said fourth-quarter sales growth slowed. The global recession is cutting demand for Chinese products, prompting job cuts and factory closures.

"While there is a crisis, people look at the prices," Ganaye said. "As we drop the prices and we make more promotions, we compensate" for any potential negative effect on sales, he said.


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