Have you ever entered the vast land of Carrefour? Have you scaled it’s aisles and begged your mom for all the candy in the candy section? Have you balanced on the rails beside the freezers? Have you watched the numerous screens in the light up with video clips? If you live in Dubai, you are likely to have taken a trip to Carrefour at least once, whether you were in Mirdif City Center, the Marina, or the Mall of the Emirates. And you have probably never suspected that anything was wrong behind the scenes.
In June 2007, Carrefour was fined over 2 million euro (8 million dirhams) for false advertising. According to Expatica, they had been accused of “advertising products which were either unavailable in sufficient quantities, were not sold at advertised price, or did not match the description in the group’s sales catalogue.” In 2009, according to the Tapei Times, Carrefour was fined again for falsely advertising vouchers, offering 840 dirham vouchers if customers used a certain amount of smaller vouchers. Carrefour was fined $87,800 (322,489 dirhams) for violating the Taiwanese Fair Trade Law.
In 2009, Carrefour was fined for fraud of multiple products including lack of traceability on meat, expired consumption deadlines, and frozen products stored at room temperature. According to Le Parisien, these actions of fraud have 2,500 breaches of the law. A check on a store in Essonne, France found 1,625 frozen products stored at room temperature. Moreover, according to Le Parisien, the Departmental Directorate for Consumer Affairs, Competition and Fraud Control (DDCRF) inspected Carrefour software in three brands for six months. They found errors on more than a quarter of the stock, meaning that they could not trace the meat. The DDCRF also made a check on a store in Saint Denis, France, and found 50 expired products being sold.
The most recent scandal was in 2015 when The Guardian revealed the use of slave labor in Asia for the production of seafood. They said that slaves were forced to work for no pay for years at a time under threat of extreme violence, and were being used for production of seafood sold by major US, British, and other European retailers. The slaves were forced to fish for prawn that was sold to leading supermarkets around the world, including Walmart, Costco, and Carrefour. Carrefour said they conduct inspections of their suppliers, but admitted that they did not check to the end of their supplier chains.
But will the future hold goodness and integrity, or will Carrefour continue to be scandalous? We will just have to wait and see.