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NEW YORK - Carrefour CEO Daniel Bernard denied today that Europe's No. 1 retailer has designs on the faltering Kmart business in the U.S. Rumors had flown in the retail industry that Carrefour -- which opened and closed a number of hypermarkets here in the 1980s -- might re-enter the market by snapping up the troubled discount chain.
Bernard was presenting at a Goldman Sachs retail conference here when questioned by an editor from Retail Merchandiser magazine (Progressive Grocer's sister publication) about the company's expansion plans for North America. "We have no short-term projects in North America," he said. When asked if Carrefour had its eyes on Kmart, he responded, "We have absolutely no project on Kmart."
Paris-based Carrefour, the second-largest retailer in the world behind Wal-Mart, operates more than 9,000 stores under two dozen names, including Carrefour hypermarkets, Champion supermarkets, and Shopi convenience stores. Its 2001 revenues exceeded $61 billion.