Value sales within the French grocery retailers market increased by 3% in 2012, to reach a value of €208 billion.
In 2012, hypermarkets continued to suffer with their current model of a big trolley shopping. This resulted from tough competition around prices: hypermarkets could not offer as attractive prices as discounters did.
At the same time they faced hard competition from growing convenience stores and supermarkets where consumer were more satisfied thanks to less time spent on their shopping and thanks to relatively less expensive average bills.
The latter trend corresponded to the general consumer intention to better control the shopping process: Escape from an influence of POS commercials and buy only those products that they initially wanted to buy, for example.
Hypermarkets were the dominant format in French grocery retailers, accounting for 42% of overall value sales in the category (slight decrease compared to 2011 performance). With only 2% of the total number of outlets, hypermarkets obtained the best profitability per store.
Supermarkets were the second largest channel in 2012, representing 33% of overall value sales in grocery retailers, and continued to grow. Growth was registered in the number of outlets and selling space, also.
The French grocery retailers market is rather concentrated with approximately 30 chained retailers registering more than 80% of the total value sales in 2012. Among them, five retailers (Carrefour SA, ITM Enterprises SA, SC GALEC, Auchan France and Système U Centrale Nationale SA) control almost 60% of market sales.
The strategy of the market leaders is quite similar: They try to attract consumers through their wide presence (in many outlets, but also in different channels) and to offer the lowest prices. However, there is strong competition from discounters (Lidl, Aldi and Leader Price) that offer ultimately low prices.
The trends of the weakening role of hypermarkets and increasing importance of supermarkets and convenience stores seem to be long-term tendencies. The shift from standard models of hypermarkets (where consumers buy their products once each two weeks and spend their whole Saturday afternoon on shopping) could also be confirmed by the wide introduction of the drive concept in French hypermarkets and big supermarkets.
For more information on the French grocery retailing market, see the latest research: French Grocery Retailing Market
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