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Carrefour plans to enter Iran

The world's second largest hypermarket group is considering entering the Iranian market.

French hypermarket group Carrefour is considering entering the Iranian market, the company's partner in the region confirmed to Retail News Middle East.

Frank Witek, CEO of MAF LLC, Carrefour’s partner in the Middle East, said the company is analysing the Iranian market, but would not give further details of any plans.

“Carrefour is currently exploring possibilities in the Iranian market,” Witek said. “Iran is one of the countries the company is analysing to enter. However, at this current stage, we cannot discuss details.”

While Witek was reluctant to reveal details of Carrefour’s plans, a source close to the company told Retail News Middle East that the hypermarket group is planning to open up to 14 stores in Iran by 2012, and is expected to open its first store in Tehran in 2007. “They will be expanding aggressively there,” the source said.

“I think they have already appointed the locations and will be starting with one by the beginning of next year, and will then be continuing to open the rest.”

Carrefour is likely to perform well in Iran, partly because the country lacks the type of large, modern hypermarkets that are already an established feature of the retail sector across the GCC. It is also likely that other large supermarket groups will follow Carrefour’s lead and take an interest in Iran, the source added.

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