December 14, 2012, 1:52 PM

Carrefour shuts down its Brazilian e-commerce site

In Brazil since 1975, Carrefour will now focus only on stores.

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Carrefour Group pulls the plug on e-commerce in Brazil.

A European merchant well established in Brazil has pulled the plug on its e-commerce operation there.

Carrefour Group, No. 13 in the Internet Retailer Top 400 Europe and No. 9 in the Internet Retailer Top 300 Latin America has ended its e-commerce operation in Brazil. Carrefour, a mass merchandise chain based in France with a network of about 9,800 stores worldwide in 33 countries, opened its first store in Brazil in 1975 and today operates 186 mass merchandise stores, 41 super markets and eight convenience stores in Brazil.

But as part of the global downsizing of certain operations, Carrefour has decided to concentrate on store operations and shutter its Brazilian e-commerce site, which launched in 1999 and generated Internet Retailer-estimated sales of about $185 million in 2011. “The Carrefour Group Brazil has announced the decision to suspend its activities in the segment of e-commerce, continuing the restructuring plan adopted successfully for over two years,” the company says in a posting on Carrefour.com.br. “Among the pillars of performance defined by the company are strengthening the operation of hypermarkets, through the revitalization of stores,” the company says.

Carrefour isn’t talking specifics about its decision to shutter its Brazilian e-commerce site. But the initiative is part of an ongoing plan by Carrefour to diversify certain operations in various markets, including Latin America. In October Carrefour sold its retail operation of 92 stores in Colombia in a deal valued at $2.6 billion to Cencosud Retail SA, a large supermarket and mass merchandise chain based in Chile. Carrefour did not operate an e-commerce site in Colombia. Cencosud, which sells online in Chile at Jumbo.cl and generated Internet Retailer-estimated sales of $174.7 million in 2011, also doesn’t operate online in Colombia.

Cencosud is No. 10 in the Internet Retailer Top 300 Latin America.

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