At the time, according to rumors, denied so far, Leclerc could buy 60 Hypers Géant Casino, Kantar released revealing figures on October 22: independents (Leclerc, Intermarché and Système U) still earned a point market share on integrated Carrefour, Casino and Auchan. However, “the market weighs 90 billion euros in annual sales, but hardly grows,” points Frederic Valette, distribution director of Kantar Worldpanel. “One point of lost market share is 900 million turnover that has rocketed.For a distributor, the market share is almost an asset.The smaller you are, the less your purchase conditions are good. ” In this match, a stranger pulls the chestnuts from the fire: it is Lidl, which continues to grow, and now close to the 6% market share.
Lesson # 1: Power
Listed on the Stock Exchange (Carrefour and Casino) or supported by the wealthy Mulliez family (Auchan), the integrated companies suffer from their size. Their heaviness and their dividends penalize them in the race against Amazon. They also have many more big hypers, a declining format. Finally, “for a decade, they have gone to the assault of many countries and have invested less in France,” notes Frederic Valette.
Lesson # 2: Independence
The self-employed benefit from a model where each member owns his shop and adapts the range to the customers. They are less exposed to large hypers and less penalized by heavy structural costs. They reinject their income back into the stores and prices.
Lesson # 3: Hope
If the integrated market share is declining, it is, in part, because of major strategic decisions: invest in prices and reduce the surface of hypermarkets (Carrefour), sell or close outlets in difficulty (Auchan and Casino ). In the long term, these decisions could pay well.