Are the best days over for hard discount as a format? French price breaker Leader Price, Groupe Casino's hard discount chain, is yet another chain that changes its course: "Low prices are not sufficient any more. Old style discounting is dead."
Up to 20% turnover rise
Leader price used to be the big price breaker on the French supermarket scene, but it has suffered badly from German competitors Aldi and Lidl. Now that those hard discounters have been working hard on a worldwide - and successful - makeover, the French chain has also decided to alter its course.
"Tout le plaisir est pour vous" ("The pleasure is all yours") is the baseline with which the new store format, named Next, is introduced. Stores will be redesigned with a more fancy look (and, noblesse oblige, an expanded wine cellar) and customers will be treated to more biological, local and fresh products."We have done some thorough consumer research and have come up with a concept that follows a global trend: that low prices are not sufficient any more", says CEO Tina Schuler.
Leader Price has tested the new concept in two stores since October, and turnover has risen by up to 20 %. Enough for the board to start installing the upgrade across France: by the end of the year, 120 of the chain's 800 stores should have already been transformed. If the new concept will also be applied to the nine Belgian Leader Price stores, is thus far still unknown.