Why are French shops asking customers to round up the price of their purchases?

Why are French shops asking customers to round up the price of their purchases?
Photo: AFP
If you're shopping in France the cashier may well ask you about "l'arrondi solidare" - but what is this and how does it work?

Next time you are shopping in France you might be asked an unexpected question.

After the cashier has asked if you have a carte de fidélité or carte du magasin (store card) they could then ask voulez-vous l'arrondir or voulez-vous faire un don avec l'arrondi solidaire?

The question you are being asked is whether you want to round up the total of your purchases to the nearest euro – so instead of paying €15.67 you pay a flat €16.


If the store is taking part in the scheme, you will see the blue arrondi logo. Photo: AFP

If you are paying by card, the card machine may ask you the same question before you enter your PIN.

The reason you are being asked this is the arrondi solidaire – rounding up in solidarity – system that is slowly gaining popularity in France.

Created in 2009, the system basically asks shoppers to round up their purchases to the nearest euro, and the extra money goes to selected charities.

The system was created by social enterprise MicroDON in 2009 and since 2013 the donations have been collated, centralised and distributed by endowment fund Le Réflexe Solidaire, which works free of charge so all the money goes to the named charities.

Although it's been running for some years it is now gaining more popularity meaning you are more likely to be asked the question when you do your shopping.

Big name brands in France that are taking part including Monoprix, Franprix, Casino, Addidas and Maisons du Monde.

In total in 2019, 259 charities and community groups benefited from donations to the scheme.

And you can even offset donations against your tax return if you can show that you gave at least €5 in this way over the previous tax year.

For more about the scheme and how it works, click here.

 


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