Cooperative supermarkets arrive in France

Several cooperative supermarket projects are ready to launch in France. Customers can help around in the store in return for lower prices, a concept that has proven popular in the United States.

Lower labour cost

There are currently three separate projects in France (Paris, Lille and Toulouse), but Marseille and Lyon are also readying a cooperative supermarket. Shareholders and volunteers collaborate to keep prices lower than with the competition. Whoever is involved in the project has to work 3 to 4 hours a month in the store, which helps lower the labour cost some 75 %.


The Paris-based project, called The Wolf, was based on the idea of two American entrepreneurs and is furthest along. A rental agreement has been signed for a 1,500 sqm store and about 1,500 people have joined the project already. This particular cooperative supermarket should open its doors in the summer. 


The Lille-based project will not open until 2016 at the earliest, as only 70 people signed on while at least 1,000 people are required to get the supermarket operational.

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