Carrefour, French multinational retailer broke new ground by engaging in the marketing of local products like pineapple from Bonoua (south-east), yam from Bondoukou (east), rice from Danané (west), tomato and outfits designed by local seamstresses in Ivory Coast. This choice has required the signature of 170 distribution contracts with producers and suppliers throughout Ivory Coast.
“We try to be part of the local economy by participating in its modernization. For more we import, we find less quality products, “notes Xavier Desjobert, Managing Director of CFAO-Retail, who designed and financed the mall, Playce Marcory in Abidjan, the capital city of Ivory Coast that houses over 12 other internationally recognized brands.
He added that Carrefour does not implement them to take market share from professionals. The target is not the upper class. “We are here to offer Abidjan of the emerging middle class [10-20% of the population of Abidjan] to return to the logic of modern commerce,” explains Xavier Desjobert. “Regarding the prices it is important to say that on the most sensitive products, it is able to have prices that are competitive with the prices of traditional markets.”
At the official opening ceremony of the center, in presence of the Head of State, Alassane Ouattara, the Ivorian trade minister Jean-Louis Billon stated, “I will personally ensure that healthy competition rules are respected among all brands.”
Playce Marcory has a sales area of 3200 sqm, a shopping arcade of 55 shops, including a dozen major international brands, a food court with 400 seats and parking for 500 cars at a cost of about 60 million Euros.