CHINA> Regional
Carrefour reopens following July 5 riot
(China Daily)
Updated: 2009-07-24 07:17

URUMQI: France's Carrefour supermarket chain reopened its flagship Urumqi store Thursday, 17 days after it was forced to close following the July 5 riot.

The store in the Urumqi International Grand Bazaar complex is regarded as the main outlet among the company's three branches in the city, capital the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region.

"We are well prepared for the reopening," said Jerome Chevrier, general manager of Carrefour China's north and west regions.

The city's other two stores were not affected by the riot.

Plans to open two more stores in Xinjiang remain on track, he added.

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More than 100 customers were waiting outside when the store reopened at 10:30 am.

Fifty security guards - up from 36 before the riot - were on duty checking handbags and vehicles.

Zhao Xiangli, manager of the store, said that all 170 employees were paid during the long closure.

"It's the first day we've opened since the riot and many people have not been informed of the news, so we don't expect a large crowd today," she said.

"We will take about 100,000 to 150,000 yuan ($14,600 to $22,000), or 200,000 yuan less than average, but we have confidence in the recovery of our business," she said.

The number of cashiers was reduced to nine in the morning from 12 or 13 before the riot because of the smaller crowds.

Ku Ping, an Uygur woman, said: "I used to visit the supermarket several times a week. I am glad to see it's reopened. It was very inconvenient during the closure."

Yang Jingshun, a Han, said: "I do not feel any danger since there are armed police patrolling in the grand bazaar."

Chevrier declined to discuss Carrefour's lost trade during the closure and details of the two planned stores.