Carrefour S.A. is a French multinational corporation specialized in retail. Carrefour’s history began in 1959, following a meeting between Marcel Fournier, owner of a novelties shop in Annecy, and the Badin-Defforey family, a food wholesaler in Lagnieu (l’Ain). From entrepreneurial families, Marcel Fournier and Denis Defforey tested the French-style self-service, first in a 200m2 sales area, before opening an 850m2 supermarket at the crossroads of Avenue Parmelan and Avenue André Theuriet in Annecy in June 1960.
Inspired by the United States, Carrefour’s founder opened the first hypermarket in France in Sainte-Geneviève-des-Bois (91) on 15 July 1963. The hypermarket was the first of its kind in France and offered a vast range of products at low prices over a 2,500m² self-service sales area with 400 free parking spaces.
In April 1976, Carrefour launched a private label Produits libres (free products – libre meaning free in the sense of liberty as opposed to gratis) line of fifty foodstuffs, including oil, biscuits (crackers and cookies), milk, and pasta, sold in unbranded white packages at substantially lower prices. In 1981, Carrefour launched the PASS card, both a credit card and a customer loyalty card. After three years, 200,000 people signed up for the PASS card and over 4 million transactions were recorded.
On 30 August 1999, Carrefour launched a public exchange offer for shares in Promodès, established in 1961. The merger of Carrefour and Promodès results in the second largest retailer in the world with 240,000 employees and 9,000 stores.
According to retail-index.com, Carrefour is the most popular supermarket chain in France, with 5,274 stores as of 2019.
According to en.wikipedia; carrefour.com and retail-index.com