France's 'cheapest' supermarket to expand into convenience stores

The Local France
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France's 'cheapest' supermarket to expand into convenience stores
The entrance of a French retail surpermarket E. Leclerc, in Saint-Herblain, outside the city of Nantes. (Photo by LOIC VENANCE / AFP)

One of France's biggest supermarket chains - and the French group judged the most affordable - has announced it will expand into convenience stores, bringing the lower prices of hypermarchés to city-dwellers.


E. Leclerc - judged by France's lead price comparison site as the cheapest French group - announced on Monday that it had opened its first "low-cost" convenience store.

The shop is located in the south of France, in Draguignan which is in the Var département and bosses say they will charge the same prices at convenience shops as it does in its larger supermarkets.

Prices in city-centre convenience stories or 'mini' supermarkets are often significantly higher than those at out-of-town hypermarchés, even in stores run by the same group. 


spoke with Loïc Faraco, the head of Leclerc branches in neighbouring towns, told local paper Var Matin: "We wanted to offer a new concept to our customers and, above all, to work in closer proximity to the city centre while keeping the prices of large supermarkets." 

The manager said that the "idea is to offer the maximum amount of products at large supermarket prices" which has not been done before."

Faraco explained that small convenience shops "charge up to 30 percent more than large stores," adding that close proximity should not push people to have to pay more. 

In comparison to other stores, E.Leclerc is known for having much lower prices. According to UFC-Que Choisir, a French consumer association who ranks store affordability, E. Leclerc grocery stores topped the list for having the most affordable bundles (although their comparison does not include the German chains Aldi and Lildl, which are present in many French towns).

For 2022, the results showed that the E.Leclerc was least expensive, with an average shopping cart costing €348. In comparison, the most expensive was the Casino group with averages of €408. 

Mini-markets have become more common across France in recent years, and according to TF1, supérettes (convenience stores) have seen their sales climb by more than 8 percent since 2019. 


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