In September, French retail giant Carrefour is to open the first two stores of its Spanish discounter Supeco (‘supermercado economico’ or ‘cheap supermarket’) in France. The stores will open in Valenciennes, near the Belgian border. The discounter is going through a fast international growth.
Combining discount and cash & carry
Supeco announces itself as a chain that saves money on anything, from energy over logistics to decoration. The latter part is obvious in the very rudimentary design of the stores and the presentation of products in boxes and on pallets. Prices are displayed per unit and in bulk: a way for the chain to position itself as a combination of discount and cash & carry, targeting both families and professional customers.
The first store is to open on 3 September, followed by a second one 22 days later. The main driver behind the French expansion is supposed to be Pascal Clouzard: the current head of Carrefour France led the group’s Spanish activities until 2017 and experienced the benefits of the discount chain first hand. Costs are significantly lower than in normal supermarkets, and the chain can benefit of a lower price image.
Retail expert Olivier Dauvers believes the Supeco stores will mainly be used to replace struggling Carrefour Market stores, but in Trofarello (near Turin) the group also used a former hypermarket to house the first Italian store of the chain. In addition to the Turin store, Carrefour has already opened 40 Supeco stores in three countries: 23 in Spain, 15 in Romania and 2 in Poland.