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French supermarket giant Carrefour backs down over EASY branding dispute with Sir Stelios

    Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou’s easyGroup, owner of the easy family of brands, has today claimed a historic victory in its long-running legal battle with the French supermarket giant, Carrefour.

    Between 2014-6, the supermarket giant opened a number of “metro” format stores in Belgium using the orange colour in a font which resembles the easyGroup house style.

    Following legal action and representations from easyGroup’s lawyers, Carrefour has now rebranded these stores into their own house style – “Carrefour Express”. (Before and after photos of the store signs are above.)

    The Belgian retail trade magazine has also reported on the French giant’s change of strategy:

    Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou, owner of the “easy” family of brands which includes easyJet, easyHotel and easyCar among many others said:

    “I am delighted that another brand thief has been “reformed”. Companies the size of Carrefour should not be using a brand that confuses the consumer. I am sure it was a naïve mistake of some middle manager in the (Carrefour) empire to use the easy brand without our permission. It also seems to me that a more recent change of guard at the top caused them to realise their mistake and change back to using their own name, not mine. No self-respecting business wants to confuse the customer.”

    “We have a long-standing and well-publicized policy of pursuing brand thieves in courts in the UK, the EU and beyond. Some are small companies that simply fold instead of fighting it out in court. However, it is reassuring to see a company the size of Carrefour that could easily afford the legal fees to make the change away from the easy brand rather than see us in court. So Carrefour: thanks for the “backhanded compliment”!

    Media Coverage

    09/01/2019 – Daily Mail
    09/01/2019 – The Daily Telegraph
    09/01/2019 – Evening Standard
    09/01/2019 – The Times