Carrefour China western regional manager Arnaud Dupont said that the group plans to open five new stores in Sichuan province over the next three years.

The supermarket chain already has five stores in the provincial capital Chengdu. Dupont said that the May 12 earthquake had not changed the group’s positive assessment of the Sichuan market.

Dupont also disclosed that on July 16 he signed an agreement with the local authorities to open a store in the popular resort city of Dujiangyan which was badly hit in the May 12 earthquake with the loss of more than 3,000 lives. He said the decision to invest in Dujiangyan had been made before May 12 but remained sound on commercial grounds.

Dupont said that to date Carrefour Group has donated CHY23 million to the quake relief and reconstruction effort and an ongoing initiative has so far raised a further CHY4 million.

Carrefour Group is the second largest retailer in the world after Walmart. It currently has 117 stores in mainland China and 40 stores in Taiwan. It opened its first Taiwan store in 1989 and its first mainland China store in 1995.