Carrefour's Exit from Singapore

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This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

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Case Details:


Case Code : BSTR439 For delivery in electronic format: Rs.400;
For delivery through courier (within India): Rs. 400 + Shipping & Handling Charges extra


International Business/ Globalization
Case Length : 12 Pages
Period : 2013
Pub Date : 2013
Teaching Note : Not Available
Organization : Carrefour SA
Industry : Retail
Countries : Singapore


The case focuses on the entry of France-based retailer Carrefour SA (Carrefour) into Singapore and its subsequent exit from the country. Carrefour, the second largest retailer in the world, entered Singapore in 1997 after performing a feasibility study. It opened a hypermarket at Suntec City mall and the store became popular for its wide array of products and low prices. Singapore was a small market highly saturated with the local players. Carrefour with its hypermarket concept positioned itself differently, providing customers with a “one stop shopping” experience.

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Initially, the stores attracted customers who were happy to shop at a place that sold both food and non-food items like electronics and furniture under one roof. Gradually, however, Carrefour started facing tough competition from local specialty retailers and supermarkets. It found itself unable to expand rapidly in the country and its second store was opened only in 2003. Both its stores were located in downtown areas and Carrefour incurred high rents on them. But its competitors had outlets in densely populated suburbs and residential localities. They were also quick to come out with smaller hypermarkets, which attracted several customers. Even after operating in the country for fifteen years, Carrefour found that it was not among the top retailers in the county. Nor did it not find many opportunities to grow its business. Carrefour therefore decided to exit Singapore in 2012. With the exit, its Southeast Asian sojourn came to an end as it had already made an exit from Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia.


Understand the nature of problems faced by foreign retailers like Carrefour in saturated markets like Singapore.
Study and analyze Carrefour's international expansion strategies.
Understand the implications of entering international markets without going in for partnerships, JVs, or acquisitions.
Examine the reasons that prompted Carrefour to exit the market.


  Page No.
Carrefour Bids Adieu to Singapore 1
Background Note 2
Going Global 3
Carrefour in Asia 4
Carrefour in Singapore 5
Failure to be Among the Top 6
What Went Wrong...? 7
Carrefour Exits South East Asia 9
Exhibits 10


Carrefour, Singapore, November 2012, Suntech City Mall, Plaza Singapora, South East Asia, product assortment, downtown locations, Exit , NTUC-Fair price, TOPS

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