Carrefour, operated in Georgia by Majid Al Futtaim, like many other retail brands, has had a trying year. Despite obstacles posed by the pandemic, the brand was able to — due to its years of experience and existing company vision — introduce approaches and implement changes that allowed it to overcome the worst of the crisis while also enjoying numerous successes.
Notably, Carrefour was able to launch a new stage in its operation history by expanding its physical and digital operations while actively helping out its Georgian community. This combined physical and digital growth underlined Carrefour’s position as a trusted local partner creating value for the local industry and economy.
Some of Carrefour’s 2020 noteworthy achievements include:
The Opening of 20 New Stores
As part of its ongoing physical expansion, Carrefour opened 20 new stores across the country this year. As a result, it helped raise the employment rate by creating jobs for approximately 2,000 people and maintained its position as one of the largest job creators in the local market.
The brand’s expansion further underscored its commitment to increasing Georgians’ accessibility to quality products at exceptional value by creating more convenient and safe shopping environments for more customers.
Maintaining Jobs for Company Employees
As a people-first brand, the wellbeing of employees is the number one priority. During the pandemic, Carrefour did its utmost to maintain jobs. Proudly, salary reductions were avoided and not a single employee was left without a source of income.
Positively, the company employed up to 600 additional people throughout 2020 and promoted 300. In total, Carrefour provides jobs for more than 2,000 Georgians.
Employees not only showed exemplary courage and dedication during this difficult period but ensured that every Carrefour was a safe working and shopping environment for fellow colleagues and customers.
It’s worth mentioning that Carrefour Georgia opened learning and development center for employees offering more than 50 different trainings and customized development programs. New training center is the main driver of talent identification, people development and career advancement of Carrefour employees in Georgia.
Expanding Digital Offerings, with Convenient and Safe Delivery
As the market-leading retailer, Carrefour is dedicated to creating convenient and seamless shopping experiences through its digital services, while keeping safety in mind.
Recently, Carrefour enhanced its online presence and expanded its delivery service by partnering with non-food delivery app, Vendoo, and food-delivery app Glovo and Wolt.
Countrywide, from Tbilisi to Zugdidi; Batumi to Rustavi, Carrefour customers can now purchase imported non-food items through Vendoo, an online shopping platform that enables users to easily cross post and sell items on multiple marketplaces. Through Vendoo, Carrefour customers are able to enjoy a smoother and more streamlined retail journey, with delivery straight to their doors.
Similarly, customers in Tbilisi and Batumi can order a wide assortment of more than 1,000 Carrefour products, including fresh fruit and vegetables, household items, and hygiene supplies, on Glovo and Wolt.
These partnerships have allowed customers the convenience of shopping from the safety and comfort of their own homes during the pandemic.
Carrefour Loyalty Programme My Club
Loyalty programme MyCLUB is yet another important achievement of Carrefour, allowing customers to earn and accumulate points while shopping.
MyCLUB was launched in Georgia a year ago, on Carrefour’s seventh anniversary, when Carrefour decided to reward its loyal customers by offering them the opportunity to earn points and redeem them in Carrefour discounts through a unique loyalty programme.
For those who have not yet become a member of this money-saving club, all you need to do is register with the Carrefour Georgia application on the Google Play Store and Apple’s App Store.
Collect more, save more! – This is the main motto of MyCLUB.
Currently, Carrefour has 328 000 MyCLUB customers, with 133 000 of them joined in 2020.
Introducing Self-Checkout System to Ensure Maximum Safety
Creating a safe work environment for its employees and offering a great shopping experience to customers has always been a priority for Carrefour hypermarkets and supermarkets.
Particularly in the face of the global pandemic, safety remains front of mind. As such, the brand introduced a new self-checkout service at its Tbilisi Mall and Isani stores. The self-service counters give customers the option of contactless payment, allowing them to use debit/credit card and “MyClub” loyalty points to pay. Self-service cash counters will be rolled out in other Carrefour stores in the near future.
The introduction of self-service cash counters also provides customers with a faster and more efficient shopping experience by eliminating queuing time.
Supporting Those in Need
The safety of the elderly has been critical during the coronavirus pandemic. Starting November 30, the Georgian Red Cross relaunched its campaign in support of vulnerable single elderly people and families affected by COVID-19.
Carrefour continues to actively participate in the above initiative with the aim of bettering the living conditions for members of its communities. With the Red Cross’ support, Carrefour gave its customers the chance to improve the lives and wellbeing of the vulnerable elderly living in Georgia.
Together with the Georgian Red Cross Society and nutritionists, a package with essential items was created to include about ten days’ supply of food as well as medicine and hygiene items. These included: sugar, rice, tea, pasta, buckwheat, oat flakes, wheat flour, oil, salt, and primary consumption items.
As part of the ongoing campaign, customers visiting the Carrefour stores in Tbilisi Mall and East Point will be able to purchase any product from the special list of needs developed by the Georgian Red Cross and participate in this charity drive. Citizens can buy one or more of the products on the list which will then be delivered to those most in need.
The package will be delivered to live-alone elderly people with the help of trained volunteers and regional administration employees. The campaign is organized on the recommendation of the Interagency Coordination Council.
Other Carrefour stores are due to join the charity campaign in the future.
Notably, in the first stage of the initiative, 10,000 elderly people received with Carrefour being the first to join the Red Cross and Tbilisi City Hall campaign.
Through additional partnerships with organizations such as the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Environment and Agriculture, Tbilisi City Hall, the Autism Research foundation, and Emmaus Georgia, Carrefour played a big role in helping people with disabilities, single mothers, socially vulnerable families, orphans, war veterans, children with serious illnesses, and the elderly.
Additionally, an important memorandum was signed with international charity, Emmaus, which helped provide unwanted clothes to socially vulnerable families.
Recently, Carrefour became the first brand to respond to charitable organization ‘Life is Beautiful’ and commit to supporting the ‘We Are Here for You’ campaign.
Joining forces to support disadvantaged and at-risk members of the local community, representatives from the Life is Beautiful Foundation and Carrefour visited five multiple-child families and gifted them food products, hygiene items and home appliances. Each of the families visited had no less than six children each, and attest to the scale and severity of the challenges many families across Georgia face, especially in the wake of COVID-19.
Caring for Environment: The Brand’s Ongoing Sustainability Strategy
Carrefour is one example of a brand that is very active when it comes to Sustainability and Corporate citizenship.
Having held more than 50 events in the last two years, Carrefour prides itself on its commitment to bettering the lives of its surrounding communities and is guided by its desire to operate in an environmentally and socially-responsible manner.
Most recently, Carrefour took another important step forward in its sustainability pledge. Throughout November, the brand ran a campaign which saw it introduce reusable bags for fruit and vegetables. Customers were allowed to use recyclable bags while shopping for loose fruit and veg and had the chance to get a F&V bag for free when they purchased a scrolling bag. This initiative added to the various kinds of reusable bags already available at Carrefour’s chains.
“Honor Nature. Purchase a bag and get infinite benefits,” was the main motto of the campaign.
The campaign aimed to minimize plastic usage throughout Carrefour stores by increasing sales of Foldable Wheeled Bags and F&V eco-friendly bags, while continuing to raise awareness on how detrimental plastic bags are to the environment. It is another notable move by the brand who have already replaced single use plastic bags in its chains with compostable ones.
Launched in April 2018, Honor the Nature was a campaign to educate Carrefour customers on the environmental harm of plastic bags and the advantages of using reusable bags. Since the launch, sales of Carrefour reusable bags have increased by 120 per cent. As an added incentive, Carrefour rewarded all customers who chose to use a reusable bag. During the campaign more than one and a half million customers were offered rewards. The launch of these campaigns in Carrefour stores have since marked a 80 per cent reduction in the use of single-use bags.
Interestingly, Carrefour Georgia was the first to introduce locally produced reusable bag – MADE IN GEORGIA. Later, it also launched reusable bags with wheels.
Educating the Young Generation about the Importance of Environmental Protection
Educating the young generation about the importance of environmental protection is an important issue. For this reason, Carrefour released the first Georgian coloring book about the harmful effects of plastic on the environment. Brand representatives distributed these coloring books to school children and public-school students.
Carrefour’s main Ambitions and Challenges for 2021
Continued regional growth and expansion remain a priority for the brand going into 2021. There will be a focus on expanding operations in Tbilisi and preparations to open in new cities, with a goal to reach minimum 150 stores by 2022. In terms of digital expansion and growth, Carrefour is looking to launch an efficient e-commerce solution as well as collaborate with more partners in the market.
Furthermore, Carrefour will actively work to attract new customers while retaining loyal ones by delivering an unrivalled shopping experience and improved loyalty program.
Commitment to people will remain a key focus throughout 2021. The brand is planning to recruit 1000 Georgian citizens and will continue to retain, develop and attract new talent across all areas of the business while still activating campaigns and initiatives that support those in need and socially vulnerable families.
Lastly, Carrefour aims to increase its sustainability initiatives by organizing more cleanup activities, encouraging customers to use reusable bags and engage younger generation as part of Carrefour’s zero plastic bag journey.