‘Mystery’ trolleys of supermarket goods sold at low prices in France

Discounts entice shoppers hunting for a bargain in Normandy

Hundreds of the trolleys have been sold
Published Last updated

A supermarket in northern France has found a novel way to move on old products, by selling ‘mystery trolleys’ filled with cut-price secret goods.

The trolleys are filled with unsold products from shop shelves including toys, tableware, and electronic appliances, which are covered with an opaque bag to hide the contents.

Shoppers are then invited to pick one, without knowing what is inside, but all the items have been discounted by 66%. A trolley usually costs between €50 and €150.

The event currently only takes place at an ‘Auchan’ hypermarket in Dieppe, Seine-Maritime, but its popularity means it may soon spread elsewhere.

More than 500 trolleys sold

“We were at a meeting and we were looking for an idea to boost sales,” said manager of the hypermarket Jérémie Juan.

“An employee told us about a programme she had seen [American show Container Wars] in which they sell mystery containers. We thought we could do that with trolleys.”

People who purchase a mystery trolley cannot return any of the products – as is the case in Container Wars – but the hope of finding a bargain deal seems too good to miss for many.

“When we announced the operation on Facebook, we received over 200 messages in 30 minutes, mainly from people wanting to order,” said Mr Juan.

Each weekend the hypermarket trialled the scheme, they had to add additional trolleys due to the high demand, and even included a special ‘Christmas’ edition, mostly filling them with toys and gifts for children.

The store has now sold well over 500 mystery trolleys but is now spacing out the events to keep the novel aspect and to retain some old stock.

Food sales are more difficult

Most of the products included are non-perishables to reduce the risk of an illness from eating bad food and to help shift bulky stock.

However, Mr Jaun said they have filled some “some food shopping” trolleys “with Coca-Cola, baby care products and biscuits.”

Food and drink discounts have to be kept at only 34% “to comply with the EGalim law."

Read more: What is France's EGalim law and why does it matter to farmers?

You can see a video of one of the events below.

@auchanbagnolet CADDY MYSTÈRE Samedi 10 février 2024 à 10h 20 CADDIES MYSTERES seront disponibles à l'entrée du magasin au niveau 2 IL N'Y EN AURA PAS POUR TOUT LE MONDE !! RDV ce samedi à 10h à l'entrée non alimentaire du magasin ( niveau 2 ) ON VOUS ATTEND NOMBREUX !!! ⚠️ Ni repris, Ni échangé ! ⚠️ #auchan #auchanbagnolet #hypermarche #grandedistribution #bagnolet #caddiemystere #mystere #catalogue #foryou #pourtoi #ps5 #nintendo #xbox #pokemon ♬ son original - Auchan Bagnolet

Related articles

Duck products recalled in France - but risk of botulism now ruled out

‘Cheapflation’ on French supermarket foods attacked by watchdog