French retail Auchan found itself in the red in the first half of 2018 after heavy investment in France and a disruptive market in China, reports online retail publication Lineaires.
Auchan reported a loss of €14m for the first six months of the year and also saw its turnover fall by 3.2 per cent to €25.1bn despite steady retail sales across France, according to the report.
Auchan’s losses are attributed to the expense of closing and revamping many of its supermarket outlets at the start of the year for remodelling and rebranding.
In the first half of 2016, Auchan Retail generated a €101m profit. This fell to €70m in 2017, then turned into a €14m loss in the first half of 2018, Lineaires said.
Meanwhile, in China, Auchan has been trialling an online sales partnership with e-commerce site Taobao since March this year. By the end of 2018, all of Taobao’s 600m customers will be able to receive their Auchan delivery within one hour of ordering online, Lineaires said. So far, fresh produce accounts for 55 per cent of sales, it added.
“In China we are open and we want to work with the best,” Wilhelm Hubner, director general of Auchan Retail, is reported to have said.