Carrefour thinks it has found the weapon against the cost-of-living crisis: its Brazilian cash&carry chain Atacadão. The first shops in France were supposed to open quite soon, but the implementation turns out to be quite the struggle.
10 % cheaper
Atacadão’s first French shop will not open in the autumn, but rather next winter. That is a setback for Carrefour, who wants to bring the Brazilian concept to France because the discount chain would be a strong “anti-crisis weapon”. However, but the newcomer is meeting local resistance.
Indeed, Atacadão is a special kind of store: as a cash-and-carry formula, with a more limited range (7,000 references) and low prices. The formula is said to be 10 to 15 % cheaper than a classic hypermarket. The discounter stands out with lot sales and wholesale prices – even for private individuals, while the massive premises with six-metre-high shelves are also typical, LSA reports.
Protest in advance
The plan is to convert several hypermarkets into Atacadão, preferably in locations where purchasing power is limited. Two rumoured locations are both in the Ile-de-France region (near Paris). Although Carrefour itself denies having already submitted concrete applications, the mayor of one of those municipalities (Sevran) is already expressing concern about the plans. The mayor fears that jobs will be lost and new competition will emerge.
Atacadão’s 321 shops account for almost 70 % of Carrefour’s sales and 80 % of its profitability in Brazil. Last year, an extra 58 stores opened, but CEO Alexandre Bompard is already aiming for 150 more to raise the total to 470. The CEO admits that crossing into France is a gamble, but one that the retailer owes its customers “because it is probably the best anti-crisis solution”.