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Which French supermarkets offer the best discounts?

The cost of many supermarket products is rising in France
The cost of many supermarket products is rising in France Photo: Theo Rouby/AFP
As prices rise in a number of sectors, French people tell pollsters that the cost of living is their number one concern ahead of the 2022 presidential elections - so where offers the best discounts on daily essentials?

The retail analysis company Tiendeo has put together a report on discounts offered by France’s largest supermarket chains.

French law strictly controls sales and discounts – shops are permitted to offer sales only twice a year between dates decided by the government and supermarkets are only permitted to offer discounts on 25 percent or fewer of their products. This covers both price reductions and special offers like buy-one-get-one-free.

Within these limits, Tiendeo’s research found that Intermarché offers the biggest number of discounts, with 11.9 percent of all goods sold between October 2020 and October 2021 having discounts applied.

Intermarché has a long history of offering eye-catching discounts, including its 70 percent off Nutella sale in 2018 which caused riots in stores as customers battled to get their hands on the bargain hazelnut spread.

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Second to Intermarché in the number of discounts was the Casino group, which offered 10.3 percent of its products with discounts over the last year.

The Tiendeo research listed only the number of discounts offered, not how much money customers saved.

After Intermarché and Casino the numbers saw a steep drop-off to Super U at 5.6 percent, Leclerc at 5.4 percent, Casino’s hypermarché brand Géant at 5.1 percent, the DIY store Brico Cash at 4.6 percent and Auchan at 4.4 percent.

The mini-market chains Monoprix and Franprix were not listed and generally use fewer discounts than the bigger supermarkets while the budget chain Lidl uses a business strategy of year-round low prices rather than discounts.

The lack of discounts doesn’t appear to be putting off customers at Leclerc, however, since it was voted the nation’s favourite supermarket earlier this year.

The popular supermarket chain Carrefour also did not make the list, having cut its number of promotions over the last year.

The research covered only discounts offered in-store to all customers, not the special offers or vouchers that come with the loyalty cards that many supermarket chains offer to regular customers.

READ ALSO When and where to find the cheapest fuel in France

Supermarkets also come consistently top when it comes to finding the cheapest petrol or diesel, since they mostly sell at or near cost and use cheap fuel prices to lure customers in.

France, in common with many other countries, has seen an increase in prices of many everyday items from baguettes to petrol as the worldwide economy restarts after a year of Covid lockdowns caused a slump in demand.

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Member comments

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  1. Leclerc in our area wins because it offers more variety and is generally well priced (though for meat, both in variety and price, Intermarche is often better).

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