Auchan wants to reignite French price war | RetailDetail

Auchan wants to reignite French price war

Auchan wants to reignite French price war

France’s fifth distributor, Auchan, wants to start competing with market leaders Carrefour and Casino through price drops and aggressive promotions, in an attempt to stop the drop in market share.

France and Western Europe drop

France still represents 42 % of the total turnover, but the French turnover fell 1.1 % in the past year, to 20 billion euro. The hypermarkets, the most important part of the company, even doubled that drop at 2.5 %.


Western European sales decreased by 2.8 %, because of the negative economic situation in the Eurozone. Turnover growth was achieved in Central and Eastern Europe, while Asia managed a record growth of 11 %.


Auchan is the second largest distributor in China and its expansions in Poland, Russia, Ukraine and Romania (ever since it purchased Metro’s Real hypermarkets) helped achieve a 4.1 % turnover increase, to 62.1 billion euro. Net profit grew 19 % to 767 million euro, but the divestment of its retail branch, worth 268 million euro, had a lot to do with that.


Price drops and promotions

Auchan lost ground in France (- 0.2 % to a market share of 11.3 %), with Carrefour (20.3 %), Leclerc (19.6 %), Intermarché (14.2 %) and Casino (11.7) pulling away even more. Moreover, CEO Vincent Mignot had to admit his group has suffered because of Carrefour’s price offensive, which entails price-comparing ads and a lowest price guarantee for 500 products ever since 2012.


Auchan will invest 230 million euro in its stores and its prizes this year, to turn that tide. The group will expand its array of products below one euro (fruit, vegetables, processed meats, …) and it wants to promote seasonal products with stunt prices, starting in June.


A large promotional campaign, comparing shopping carts, will be placed at the entrance of each store to make it clear that Auchan is the cheapest. “For day-to-day purchases, we are the cheapest, but we have failed to inform the audience of this fact”, Mignot concludes.

Questions or comments? Please feel free to contact the editors

Dior exchanges Belgian CFO for British one


After eleven years as Dior Homme’s Chief Creative Officer, Belgian Kris Van Assche is to leave the fashion label to find new challenges. British designer Kim Jones will replace him.

Suitcase brand Rimowa cancels all dealer contracts


Suitcase brand Rimowa, part of luxury group LVMH since 2016, has stopped all of its dealer contracts. It wants to initiate a new procedure soon and only a fraction of the current dealers will get a new contract.

H&M disappoints once again


Swedish fashion chain Hennes & Mauritz had to present less than favourable results for its new fiscal year: investor trust has dwindled, now that sales in its home territory have also dropped for the first time in decades.

Bureau of Competition approves Yoox Net-a-Porter bid


The Italian Bureau of Competition has approved Swiss Richemont’s acquisition of Italian fashion webshop Yoox Net-a-Porter. The full bid, yet to be accepted, values the company at 2.7 billion euro.

Donatella Versace stops using fur


Italian fashion brand Versace will no longer use fur: designer Donatella Versace no longer wants to kill animals for fashion, she explained in an interview with The Economist.

"Best year ever" for Danish shoe brand Ecco


Ecco can look back on 2017 as its best financial year ever. The Danish shoe brand, known for its “follow the foot” philosophy, exceeded its own expectations thanks to an 8 % growth.

Back to top