Carrefour launches price war

Firing a first salvo in what could develop into a major price war among supermarket owners, the Carrefour-Marinopoulos group yesterday announced a five-month freeze on price increases for most of its merchandise. The move by Greece’s biggest supermarket group coincides with a government campaign against price hikes at a time when many consumers are cutting expenditure due to the inflated cost of many goods. Didier Fleury, general-manager of the French-owned group, said the decision would apply to «almost 90 percent» of the goods on sale between September 15 and January 15. «In cases where increases are inevitable, consumers will be compensated by special offers that last for a long period,» Fleury said, adding that the group would sink 5-10 million euros into maintaining its pricing policy, in the hope of expanding its customer base by 5-10 percent. The chairman of the Greek supermarket owners’ association, Pantelis Panteliadis, welcomed the move. «I believe all our members will follow suit, and I am confident that next month’s inflation figures will be even lower.»

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