The Mercury

Casino and Conforama forge alliance


FRENCH retailer Casino and furniture chain Conforama, owned by South African group Steinhoff, have forged a co-operation agreement to use a combined €1.3 billion (R20.5bn) of purchasing power to boost efficiency. The Mano purchasing venture, covering household appliances from white goods to lighter electrical­s such as television­s and computers, would be up and running by December 1, officials from the two businesses said. The operation is expected to generate annual savings of €30 million in the medium term. “Overall it’s a response to the growing concentrat­ion among suppliers and among our competitor­s,” one Casino official said. The new alliance comes after Conforama lost out to CD and book retailer Fnac in a fierce takeover battle for electronic goods group Darty. Conforama has 203 stores in France and Casino 10 627. Steinhoff shares fell 0.18 percent yesterday to close at R79 on the JSE. – Reuters


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