Rising prices: the fever of the French for discount stores

Rising prices: the fever of the French for discount stores

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Inflation is pushing consumers toward these “low-cost” dealers, but the climate of anxiety related to the war in Ukraine is also a lever.

FMCG inflation is now more than palpable. According IRI panelist, the prices of these products increased by 1.5% in March in a year, all channels combined (supermarkets, hypermarkets, convenience stores, drive…). If the increase seems contained with respect to general inflation measured by INSEE in the same period (4.5%)the fact is that it crossed the threshold of 1%, while in February it was only 0.58%.

A situation that pushes consumers to look for low prices. Through promotions, discount vouchers, changes in behavior but also by modifying their places of purchase.

400,000 additional customers in a month

Unsurprisingly, hard discount brands like Lidl or Aldi are filling up. From March to April, these stores would have received an average of more than 400,000 additional customers.

“Every time we buy less in department stores,” explains a customer to the microphone of BFMTV. “It’s a habit that came with rising prices,” adds another.

“We see that we see new customers, we have an increase in attendance. In a context of economic pessimism, it is a stroke of luck for us to have new customers,” confirms Jérémy Bourgain, manager of a Supeco (Carrefour) store.

A quite logical evolution but that does not necessarily bear fruit. Because all studies show that first-price products are the ones that have suffered the most from inflation.

Stronger inflation in these brands

Always according to the IRI, it is in the discount brands where the rise in prices is more pronounced: +1.75%, followed by local businesses (Carrefour city, Franprix, Intermarché Express, Petit Casino, etc.) with a rise of prices of 1.66% in March. Then come supermarkets (1.51%), hypermarkets (1.46%) and drive-thru (1.12%).

However, these changes in behavior are not only a question of prices.

“When the consumer is worried about the economy and prices, then he needs a safe haven, that is, he takes refuge in brands or retailers that he considers to be more like allies of his purchasing power,” analyzes Olivier Dauvers, a journalist specializing in mass communication. distribution.

Inflation should speed up to 3% in April and around 5% in summer. Especially since “the impact of the war in Ukraine will not be visible until early summer,” warns Emily Mayer, a specialist in consumer products at IRI, who forecasts inflation of 5% from June or July. “A level not seen since 2008,” she recalls.

In fact, the government has decided to reopen trade negotiations to take into account the impact of the conflict in Ukraine, which should push prices up a little more in the coming months.

Which products increased the most?

According to the IRI panelist, pasta is experiencing the highest price increase (+13.4% in March), ahead of mustard (+7.76%), oils (+7.36%), flours (+7.16%) and nuts (+6.72%). ). Corn (+5.1%), coffee (+4.5%), butter (+3.9%) and eggs (3.3%) are not spared either.

Olivier Chicheportiche BFM Business Journalist

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