Carrefour’s evolving hypermarket strategy

Date : 28 February 2013

From recent time spent in-store at Carrefour, here are our four insights on how its domestic hypermarket strategy is evolving.

Pricing message is clearly and consistently made

The company’s pricing message was communicated in-store through a wide range of initiatives that enabled shoppers to save money. It was clear from our visit that Carrefour’s new chief executive’s strategy of focusing on price is flowing through in-store.

Carrefour has benefited from an EDLP offer, helping to provide a clear marketing message to shoppers, while promotions build on this increasingly strong foundation. During our visit we noted frequent signage about the retailer’s price promise, ‘Prix le plus bas’, which guarantees shoppers that Carrefour offers price co-leadership on 500 branded goods, with this supported by round Euro pricing on ‘more than 100 products’ and red promotional units that boosted the visibility of savings available on specific products.

The retailer is clearly concentrating on showing shoppers how it can help them save money during every visit with promotions relevant for all shoppers, not just loyalty card holders.

Focus on fresh and local helps Carrefour to differentiate

Many French retailers are focusing on fresh and local ranges, but in-store Carrefour is clearly intent on communicating its differences. Local ranges across fresh and packaged meats, for example, are highlighted by on-shelf signage, while photos and information about farmers brings the offer to life and helps build an emotional bond between the shopper and Carrefour.

As the retailer’s strategy evolves to give store managers more power over buying, the promotion of local ranges could become even stronger and enable each hypermarket to be differentiated even more.

Mobile, online and stores being integrated

At the time of our visit, Carrefour was marketing its new initiative – e-Cheque Fidelite. The strategy enables shoppers to either print a money off coupon or get a barcode sent to their smartphone, which they can then use at a till for an immediate discount.

The integration of the company’s loyalty card with mobile was also prominently communicated. Along with the incorporation of other technologies, Carrefour is building a great foundation to develop its offer and create an environment that enables shoppers to move seamlessly between its various store formats.

Private labels remain visible

Despite less promotion at a corporate level, Carrefour’s private label ranges are still very visible in-store, with clear differences between brands. The company’s multi-tiered strategy remains very much intact, but Carrefour Discount appeared less prominent. However, retail ready packaging across a number of product categories enabled private label ranges to be clearly visible on-shelf.

Our view

The hypermarket we visited shows a clear evolution of Carrefour’s hypermarket strategy and a step change in its approach to communication around pricing. The adaptations will strengthen the retailer's position in the increasingly price-oriented French market.

To see the whole store visit please click here.