Increasing investment into new discount store concepts is changing the face of France’s grocery sector, according to a report from retail analyst IGD.
“French supermarket retailers have fought hard against the discounters’ low prices to maintain market share,” said IGD’s head of discount and CEE, Milos Ryba. “By having bigger ranges and moving into other channels such as convenience and online, they attract more shoppers as the way people are shopping evolves to become more multichannel.”
According to Ryba, understanding current grocery trends is crucial if discount players and their suppliers are to adapt their offer to the changing needs of French consumers.
Ryba sees great potential for discounters in the organic sector, for example. “While some discounters are addressing the growing organic trend in France, suppliers can play a more proactive role in helping them meet the food-to-go and reformulation trends which we have seen implemented successfully in other markets by discount retailers,” he said. “Linking to wellbeing will be key to seeing the benefit.”
Food-to-go is a fast-growing trend in France that discounters are tapping into, he said, with innovations like sushi bars and chilled boxes already proving a success in other countries.
As health becomes a bigger priority for shoppers, Ryba expects to see more discounters working to improve their own health credentials, offering an opportunity for suppliers of private label products, as well as creating a challenge for brands seeking to remain competitive.
IGD also looked at the growth of online sales in France, with retailers seeking expansion through online and digital solutions. Leading discounters, it stated, were currently looking for cost-efficient online models, with four of the six main discounters in France offering smartphone apps.
“All of the French discount players have different priorities,” said Ryba. “Therefore, it is important for suppliers to understand how each of them operates and what is important to them to succeed. With this information, suppliers should adapt their strategies with each discounter accordingly rather than having a single channel approach.”