Wacky supermarket combinations are all the rage.
First there was J Sainsbury Plc’s acquisition of Argos, and then Tesco Plc’s bid for Booker. Even Wal-Mart Stores Inc. has got in on the act, buying internet retailer Jet.com for $3.3 billion.
There’s one theme uniting all these disparate deals: the need to fight Amazon.com Inc., whether that’s in its fledgling grocery delivery business or in its more established non-food markets.
Alexandre Bompard limited Fnac’s sales decline while increasing earnings
When Tesco agreed to buy Booker it got a wholesaler and the possibility of a new chief executive officer down the line. Carrefour’s picking Fnac Darty SA’s Alexandre Bompard to be its new CEO is the other way round: there’s now the potential for a tie-up between his old and new stomping grounds.
Most big European supermarkets face the same threats: As well as the encroachment of Amazon, they have to contend with the rise of the German discounters Aldi and Lidl. There’s also the drag from having too much space in their largest stores as sales move online.
Bompard’s background at Fnac shortens the odds on some kind of co-operation with Carrefour. That could be simply a deal for Fnac to take excess space in the grocery stores.
Sainsbury initially went down this road, putting Argos concessions into Sainsbury locations. After these proved successful, it went further, and made a takeover approach.
Combining Carrefour and Fnac more extensively could help the supermarket chain harness the progress Bompard has already made…Read More