About a year after the agreement between Electra Consumer Products and French retail chain Carrefour has been signed, and following a lengthy period of preparations, setting up, regulations, standards and authorizations, closing active branches, renovations, and an investment of about ILS 250 million – this morning saw the launch of 50 branches of the retail giant in Israel, with 30-50 more expected to open by the end of this year.
After yesterday’s visit by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Economy Minister Nir Barkat, a formal launch ceremony was held this morning, attended by senior officials from international and local Carrefour management: Carrefour Group CEO Alexandre Bompard, Carrefour Group Board of Directors Chairman Philippe Houzé, Carrefour International Partnerships CEO Patrick Lasfargues, Carrefour Israel CEO Uri Kilstein, Electra Consumer Products CEO Zvika Schwimmer, Electra’s controlling shareholders Danny and Mikey Salkind, and Workers Association Chairman Eyal Elli.
“Together we will build a strong and stable company”
The branches are opened in three formats, according to the area in which they are located: Carrefour City (neighborhood stores), Carrefour Market, and Carrefour Hyper (discount stores), and the chain’s prices for the same products will differ according to format.
Patrick Lasfargues, CEO of Carrefour's international partnerships: “Carrefour is proud to officially launch Carrefour Israel today, with the opening of its first 50 branches across Israel, as part of Carrefour’s International development strategy, in accordance with the ‘Carrefour 2026’ plan. We are convinced that Carrefour Israel will provide a real solution to Israeli consumers and significantly improve their purchasing power.”
Uri Kilstein, CEO of Carrefour Israel: “This is an earthquake in the Israeli food market. For the first time in history, an international retail chain, a leading global chain, is coming to Israel, and in a single moment 50 branches are about the open their doors, offering over 1,000 Carrefour products.
We have made across-the-board price reductions on existing products, and Carrefour will be relatively cheap compared to competitors in the city, and cheaper outside the city in discount complexes. After the launch we will continue to push forward and convert another 35-50 branches by the end of the year, and together we will build a strong and stable company here that will set the tone in the food retail market.”
“Break the old and erroneous equation”
Eyal Elli, Workers Association Chairman: “We are happy to announce today to the Israeli public the launch of French chain Carrefour, which will provide good-quality products that are also affordable. The Carrefour chain will break the old and erroneous equation and will give consumers who are struggling under the high cost of living products of the highest quality you can find, without paying through their teeth.
At the same time, consumers will enjoy a shopping experience unlike anything they have known so far. I as chairman of the workers association, and the company’s employees, are committed to the chain’s success. I’d like to use this opportunity to note that the management’s relationship with the association is dedicated to the chain’s success, and does not contradict employee welfare. Quite the opposite – it contributes to their welfare. We invite consumers from now on to come to the Carrefour branch closest to their homes and behold the wonderful change we have brought to Israel.”
Carrefour Online: you do not have to come to the branch
In addition, the Carrefour Online website has been launched alongside the brick-and-mortar branches. Initially, the website will operate in limited online-delivery areas, to ensure a good level of service, and later on the service will be expanded to additional distribution areas.
The website was built in collaboration with and will be operated by Online Retail Partnership, which has been operating online supermarket services in Israel for the past few years (Quik Online Supermarket Service). Many resources were invested in the website to create an efficient, convenient, and innovative experience.
Carrefour will increase competition in the retail delivery market, and will be a significant player. Carrefour Online will offer the variety of Carrefour products offered in the branches.
Promising reduction by dozens of percents
Carrefour’s Israeli branches offer over 1,000 Carrefour-label products, out of tens of thousands of products produced and sold in European markets. The private-label products are offered in 82 categories, including: food, organic products, toiletries and cleaning, and non-food, in European quality and at exceptional prices.
A comparison performed for Carrefour on some 30 common products, found that the product basket comprised of Carrefour-label products only is cheaper by 60% than the basket comprised of similar products by other leading labels.
Our caveat for this comparison: it is possible that the leading product chosen for comparison is the most expensive product in the category, and so the difference might not accurately reflect reality. In our assessment, if you actually buy all the products in the comparison cart instead of other labels you usually purchase, and not necessarily instead of the most expensive products in the category, you will find the difference is 20-30 percents, which is in itself quite a considerable difference.
Approximately 1,000 private-label products: price examples
French bakery – Carrefour’s bakery has a rich variety of fresh baked goods from France and Europe, prepared according to French recipes and baked at the branch throughout the day. This includes classic French baguette for ILS 4.90, large butter/chocolate croissant for ILS 3.90, traditional French flan cake for ILS 29.90.
Carrefour BIO – the organic department offers a rich variety of products, and dozens of gluten-free and sugar-free products. For example, organic pasta for ILS 5.90, organic tomato paste for ILS 8.90, organic sugar-free soy drink for ILS 6.90, milk/dark chocolate for ILS 6.90.
Dry foods – a large variety of products, from pasta and rice to sauces and spices. These include various pastas for ILS 2.90, tomato puree (3 units) for ILS 6.50, Thai jasmine rice for ILS 7.90, basmati rice for ILS 8.90, cumin/sweet paprika/curry powder for ILS 3.50.
Babies – Delicate unscented baby wipes (four-pack) for ILS 12.90, Fresh aloe-enriched baby wipes (six-pack) for ILS 17.90, unscented diaper crème and baby sunblock crème for ILS 9.90.
Home cleaning – dozens of products for the kitchen, bathroom, and laundry. Power Javel cleaning gel with bleach for ILS 5.50, flower-scented dish soap for sensitive skin for ILS 6.90, kitchen and bath scrubbing crème with bleach for ILS 6.90, laundry detergent gel (2.475 liters) for ILS 16.90, concentrated fabric softener (1.5 liters) for ILS 9.90.
Pharm and toiletry – new products from Carrefour’s pharm and toiletry departments are now joining the female hygiene and men and women shaving blades that have already been launched: soft shampoo for ILS 5.90, roll-on deodorant for men for ILS 5.90, spray deodorant for women for ILS 7.90, toothbrushes (four-pack) for ILS 6.90, gum-flavored toothpaste for kids aged 3-6 for ILS 4.90, mouthwash for ILS 7.90, cotton swabs (300 units) for ILS 5.50, Confort triple-layer tissue paper for ILS 5.90.
Carrefour Outlet – a department offering hundreds of changing non-food products, sold in 5 price tiers: up to 5 shekels, 10 shekels, 15 shekels, 20 shekels, and up to 50 shekels. Products include craft items, stationery, toys, exercise products, party items, etc.