Epic Partners, the international retail alliance founded by German food retailer Edeka, welcomes a new member: French supermarket group Système U.
Economies of scale
Système U needed to revisit its economies of scale after the termination of Envergure, its buying alliance with Carrefour. The French retailer, a cooperative with no international operations, wants to be in a stronger position to negotiate with the big FMCG multinationals. That is why it is now joining forces with German market leader Edeka, which set up European purchasing powerhouse Epic Partners in 2021, French magazine LSA reports based on an internal memo from chairman Dominique Schelcher.
According to German trade magazine Lebensmittel Zeitung, Système U would join via Everest, the buying alliance between Edeka and Dutch online supermarket Picnic.
Purchasing landscape in flux
Epic Partners, headquartered in Swiss Geneva, did not yet have a French chain among its members. The alliance is led by Gianluigi Ferrari, the former top executive of Agecore – the buying group to which Colruyt belongs and that Edeka quit in early 2021. Other Epic members include Migros (Switzerland), Biedronka (Poland), Jerónimo Martins (Portugal), ICA (Sweden) and Magnit (Russia).
The European procurement landscape is in a state of flux. Earlier this summer, the Louis Delhaize and Intermarché groups united buying forces and recently Carrefour announced that it is centralising buying for its six largest European markets in its own international buying centre headquartered in Spain.