French hypermarket chain Leclerc has achieved excellent results in 2011, reaching a turnover of 30.2 billion euro (+5.5%) and a market share of 18% (+0.6%). With its series of 55 months of consecutive growth, Leclerc seems ready to fulfil its ambition of becoming the French number one by 2015 through a multichannel strategy.
Internet pushes sales forward
Leclerc owes its growth mainly to the new Drive concept, allowing customers to order online and collect their groceries at a convenient time. These Drives have grown by 159% last year, reaching 2.1% of Leclerc's total turnover but accounting for one third of the group's total growth. The largest part of the group's turnover is still obtained in medium-sized hypermarkets, earning 41.5% of turnover and growing 7.1%.
International sales went up 1.1% to 2.4 billion euro; Leclerc is active in in neighbouring countries Italy, Portugal and Spain and Eastern European countries Poland and Slovenia.
Aim for 2015: taking the throne
The French group hopes to grow to a market share of 18.5%, driven by the difficult economic situation that causes many customers to search for the lowest prices – Leclerc's image is far cheaper than market leader Carrefour's. The group hopes to see its turnover grow by 4% through online expansion towards food (opening 106 Drives in 2012) and non-food (opening a webshop for “cultural products” - starting with books - in November).
By 2015, Leclerc hopes to take over the French number one position from Carrefour through its hypermarkets, the increased Drive network reaching 400 stores, the expansion of its “cultural” site towards music and computer games and various other “specialised concepts”.