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Carrefour aims to rid itself of corruption culture
Latest Updated by 2006-07-19 11:43:15
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Carrefour China is undergoing an anti-corruption drive in its 75 supermarkets across the country in a bid to improve management.

Rapid expansion in China by the France-based retail giant has generated huge profits but also caused problems such as bribes and corruption in stores. The company's Shanghai headquarters yesterday sent a memo to its South China Office urging it to crack down on corruption in its purchasing process.

Market analysts said corruption has taken root in the retail sector, particularly in supermarkets. There are too many suppliers like food companies trying to sell their products to supermarkets, but only a few of them will be lucky.

Carrefour China has already taken action to root out the problems haunting the company, especially in its food and home appliances purchasing department. But according to a former manager, profits have always come first.

Even if a corruption case was uncovered, punishment was limited to inside the group to prevent any legal difficulties, said Wang Tao, a former manager of a Carrefour outlet.

"This system helped create more corruption cases," said Wang, "People who were caught were relocated or transferred to other stores. So the same things happened time and again."

According to Wang, bribery and corruption were frequent in his store, right up to when, where and how goods are stacked.

"We have a strict supervising system," an anonymous source in the public relations section of Carrefour China said yesterday.

He said the company is now taking a more serious stance against corruption, and a special investigating team has been formed.

Those caught accepting bribes or demanding extra fees from suppliers will be handed over to the judicial system.

The company is going to reorganize staff recruitment, and purchasing will be done by regional offices rather than by individual stores.

Editor: Yan

By: Source: China Daily Website
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