France's Carrefour is the world's 2nd largest retailer, with sales of €86bn ($117bn). Reporting 2009 results, CEO Lars Oloffson echoed Wal-Mart's CEO Mike Duke, saying he saw "challenging" times ahead.
And he added that "I don't see any improvement in the short term in the economic environment. That means very clearly that we have to rely on our own performance".
Carrefour also, like Wal-Mart, saw its home market sales drop, by 0.9%. Across Europe, they fell 2.8%, "affected by the economic environment and by deflation in Spain". In Asia, growth at existing stores "was negative in all countries, reflecting a generally challenging economic environment".
In China, despite its economic boom, Carrefour saw "deflationary pressure throughout the year", although Q4 saw some recovery. Latin America was the one bright spot, with sales up 17% due to strong growth in Argentina and Brazil.