Carrefour closes Chinese outlet

Busted! French retail giant Carrefour has closed a shop in China’s Henan province after the local government found mislabeled meat on its shelves.

Bloomberg reports that while the closure is temporary, it’s a major PR blow for the retailer:

“Carrefour will focus on training employees in food handling, it said in an e-mailed statement today. The closure is temporary, the Boulogne-Billancourt, France-based retailer said, without specifying how long the shop will be shut for or whether it will extend to outlets nationwide …

Carrefour sold regular chicken as premium for higher prices at the Zhengzhou outlet in Henan and altered labels for meat production dates, China Central Television said in a broadcast to mark World Consumer Rights Dayon March 15.

Carrefour removed fresh meat from shelves at the Zhengzhou store a day after the broadcast by state-owned CCTV, the retailer said today. The company said it has set up an emergency committee to investigate the matter and suspended an official working at the outlet.

The French retailer today repeated the ‘sincere apology’ it issued on March 16 to Chinese customers after the CCTV report. Carrefour, which officially opened its 204th hypermarket in China on March 15, also pledged to provide better service.”

What do you think? Can the company recover from this little embarassment? Is it standard practice for Western retailers to overcharge for substandard products in China?

Our Spring issue is coming soon! Keep your eyes on the Carnet Atlantique!

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