France’s favourite supermarket revealed

With their wide range of fresh fruit and veg and extensive cheese and charcuterie selections, French supermarkets are popular with visitors - but which chain do the French themselves prefer?

France's favourite supermarket revealed

E. Leclerc is the nation’s favourite supermarket, according to the study conducted by OpinionWay for Bonial, published on Tuesday.

Of around 5,000 people surveyed, 23 percent listed Leclerc as the place where they do the majority of their shopping. Carrefour came second, favoured by 21 percent of people, followed by Intermarché (12 percent).

German discount retailer Lidl came in fourth with 9 percent, although 45 percent of French people had done some of their shopping in Lidl over the past year.

READ ALSO Readers’ tips: Which supermarket in France is the best to shop at?

Grand Frais, the supermarket which many of our readers recommended in 2018, is where only 1 percent of people in France do most of their shopping.

Organic stores may be gaining in popularity in France, but the results of the survey show that they are a long way from becoming mass-market. The most popular was Bicoop, which 9 percent of people said they had visited over a twelve-month period, followed by Naturalia and Bio c’ Bon (3 percent each).

When it comes to food shopping, there are also significant regional variations. The map below shows the leading supermarket in each of France’s 13 metropolitan regions.

Graphic: Bonial.

While Leclerc and Carrefour dominate 11 of the 13 regions between them, Système U is over-represented in the Pays de la Loire, where 34 percent of people do most of their shopping in the chain, compared to only 8 percent at a national level.

Leclerc meanwhile is the preferred chain of just 13 percent of people in the Paris region, where many people use smaller city centre stores rather than the large hyper-marchés.

Respondents also ranked Leclerc first for its range of products and special offers, while Lidl came out on top when it comes to price.

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France launches its delayed winter sales

France begins its winter sales on Wednesday - later than the usual sales period in a bid to aid struggling retailers.

France launches its delayed winter sales
Photo: AFP

The winter sales were due to start on January 6th, but Alain Griest, the small businesses minister, announced on December 12th that the start date would be postponed until January 20th.

Sales are strictly regulated in France, with the dates of the summer and winter sales period decided by the government and discounting only allowed in very limited circumstances outside the official sales period.

Non-essential shops were allowed to reopen after lockdown on November 28th, but many business owners were badly affected by the loss of sales during the two-month autumn lockdown, following on from lockdown in the spring.

The imposition of a nationwide 6pm curfew is also set to hit shops hard, ending the usual evening shopping period.

Griest told Sud Radio: “I have received all the trade federations and consulted the consumer associations.

“As usual, opinions are divergent. But I think that it is useful to postpone the sales which will start on January 20th.”

It is hoped the postponement will allow retailers more time to sell their stock at full price. The summer sales were also delayed by three weeks this year.

The winter sales will therefore run from January 20th for four weeks.