Tesco and Carrefour have agreed to exchange a number of overseas stores, allowing the companies to withdraw from regions of profit-loss to concentrate on more profitable areas.
The deal, an industry first, will see Tesco exchange 11 of its French counterpart’s stores in the Czech Republic and four stores in Slovakia, while Carrefour will receive six Tesco stores and two other sites in Taiwan.
Tesco will also pay Carrefour €57.4 million ($69.1 million) as both companies exit countries in which they have a low market share.
Tesco is currently embarking on a massive push to expand its non-food side of the business, which should see the company create a further 7,500 jobs in the UK and 9,500 jobs worldwide by the end of 2005.
September also saw the retailer open its first non-food store in Denton, Manchester. The outlet will be the first of a handful of trial stores to test whether the retailer can sell higher priced non-food ranges.
The company is also looking to open warehouses to support its online operation focused on the retailer’s drive into non-food ranges.
CEO Terry Leahy said its online operations accounted for less than 10 per cent of Tesco’s non-food sales, highlighting the scope for further growth.
"We have to look at investing in setting up our own supply chain [for Tesco.com] so that we can broaden the range of products available," he added.
Tesco reported a rise in UK sales of 14.1 per cent to £18.8 billion ($33 billion) for the last six-month period, with comp sales up 8.2 per cent.
The company also posted UK non-food sales of £2.8 billion ($5.1 billion), an increase of 13 per cent on results posted for the same period the previous year.