Several major supermarkets in France have introduced offers to help fight rising costs and increased inflation in a bid to support public buying power.
Two new discount brands are also opening in France.
We summarise some of the main supermarket offers here (these may only be in place in certain stores and there may be other offers):
Until December 4, an ‘anti-inflation’ shield has been put in place on 234 everyday products, including milk, rice, coffee, flour, and nappies. This will apply for all holders of the E. Leclerc card.
Any price increases will be automatically compensated in E.Leclerc Tickets (vouchers) on the customer's loyalty card, at the checkout. These vouchers can then be used later on all products in E.Leclerc centres that are participating in the loyalty programme.
The 234 products have been chosen from the most-bought brands in the stores and apply to national brands as well as own-brand names, including Marque Repère, Eco, and Nos Régions ont du Talent, E. Leclerc states.
They are within six categories:
Store cupboard (rice, coffee, sugar, bread, cakes, crisps, jams)
Fresh products (dairy, eggs, charcuterie, fish, fruit and veg, prepared meals)
Drinks (fruit juice, syrups, water)
Hygiene products and detergent (nappies, menstrual products, washing up liquid)
Household and pets (batteries, cat litter)
School and stationery (notebooks, pens)
The group has a dedicated website listing all products included.
Until November 30, Carrefour is freezing prices on more than 100 everyday products, including for its own brand. This will apply in stores and online.
Food products (fresh produce, groceries, preserves, aperitifs, condiments, cured meats, drinks, etc)
Non-food products (hygiene products, detergents, clothing, small appliances, etc)
Until December 31, Casino is freezing the price of many everyday products at €1 each and offering 50 products for €50 at Casino Géants or 30 products for €30 in the group's ‘normal’ supermarkets. They can be bought individually for the reduced price (€1 each).
The items, which include sugar, ravioli, shampoo, toilet paper, coffee, rusks, and compotes, are found on pallets near the entrance and are deemed ‘essentials’ by the store.
In the event of a price increase, the difference between the frozen price and the price paid at the checkout will be reimbursed in the form of vouchers.
Once a month, customers who have the ‘Lidl Plus’ virtual card can receive a 5% discount voucher valid on all their shopping if they spend €50 or more.
To be eligible, customers must download the free Lidl Plus application onto their smartphone.
The voucher is then automatically displayed on the first of the month. To use it, you have to activate it on one day in the month and scan it when paying.
It comes as the CEO of E. Leclerc has warned that some prices could rise in the ‘double figures’ towards the end of this year and into 2023.
More discount stores open in France
Spanish discount Primaprix has opened its first two stores in France, with one in Pontault-Combault (Seine-et-Marne), and another in Montreuil (Ile-de-France).
Its premise is simple: selling products from major brands at prices up to 40% lower than elsewhere. This includes Nivea creams, Colgate toothpaste and Ariel washing powder.
It does this by buying bargain products from across Europe and reselling them. The products come from manufacturers who need to clear their unsold, mislabelled, or cancelled orders. It also keeps its stores relatively simple and neutral with few extra marketing signs or decorations.
Founded in Spain in 2014, Primaprix has 160 sites in Spain, mainly in Madrid, Castille, Leon, and the Basque Country. In 2021, it reported a 51% jump in turnover, to hit €138.3 million.
Carrefour is set to open a branch of its Atacadão discount warehouse store in September 2023. The brand currently operates (and is very popular) in Brazil, where it has 258 sites in 170 towns.
The first Atacadão is scheduled to open in Ile-de-France. The stores are built in the form of large warehouses, with products displayed from floor to ceiling.
Products are sold in bulk, making them between 10-15% cheaper than in a normal shop. For example, shoppers can buy 5kg bags of rice or pasta, or even choose to get the entire pallet.
There is also much less choice of brands. Shoppers generally include families, as well as business owners and restaurateurs.
The brand is planning its arrival in France at the same time as it plans more expansion in Brazil, with 470 stores planned for the South American country by 2024.