Système U sees sales rise 8.3% in 2020

Date : 12 March 2021

Jon Wright

Head of Insight - RA EMEA

Système U said its sales, excluding fuel, rose 8.3% in 2020. Although the results were driven by its online store, the retailer reported growth at all its formats. Its pace of growth during the year saw Système U gain further market share in France in 2020.

Decreasing footfall offset by online sales…

Système U said traffic at its physical stores declined by 10% during the year. Despite this fall, net sales (excluding fuel) rose by 8.3% to €22.5 bn, while including fuel they increased 1.5% to €26.8 bn. By format, the retailer reported its supermarkets performed best, with net sales up 8.5% to €15.9 bn, followed by its convenience stores, where they increased by 8.1% to €2.28 bn.

Echoing other retailer’s statements that the hypermarket is not dead, Système U reported net sales at its largest stores rose 6.5% to €3.6 bn. Finally, underlining the channel’s fast-growing importance, Système U said its online sales rose by 50% to €955 m. The Drive format accounted for 5.1% of group sales at the end of 2020, generating €927m in sales, following a 45% increase in traffic to the site.

…and bigger baskets…

Système U said its stores had benefited from shoppers’ switching of buying habits, with lockdowns, curfews and the closure of non-essential stores seeing it benefit. The retailer said its average basket size rose by 14.1% during the year.

However, the retailer said the pandemic had led it to generate an additional €115m of costs. Systeme U said it would continue to invest in 2021 and had earmarked a budget of €400m for new stores and the modernisation of existing ones.

…Aided by growth of organic and private label sales

Système U reported that sales of organic products increased by 14% to account for sales of €723m, while its sales of private labels rose by 7.1% to €4.7 bn in 2020, seeing them account for more than 21% of group sales.