Consumption Costco is already there, and Atacadao will land in France in the fall of 2023. What will revolutionize shopping baskets?
Why buy small when you can take big packages? — David Zalubowski/AP/SIPA
- Do you like your pasta in 5kg packs and always find the brands overpriced? Welcome to the world of supervolume shopping.
- A possibility ever more within reach of the consumer, with the presence in France of the American Costco and the arrival of the Brazilian Atacadao, a brand specializing in wholesale , in 2023.
- Should this be seen as a simple response to current inflation or a model that is here to stay?
Enter here, Atacadao. No, it’s not about the thrilling new player of the Seleçao after Neymar and Vinicius, but about a branch of Carrefour established in France. in Brazil, as its name might suggest. The supermarket group has announced its intention to import a first test store in Ile-de-France to; fall 2023, when France is going through a historic period of inflation and purchasing power crisis.
Atacadao is a “ discounter” extremely low prices, sort of Lidl on steroids. To allow such discounts, here, we do without any frills: the sign looks more like a brand. a warehouse than in the supermarkets you frequent, the products being sold in boxes, on pallets or metal shelves. In order to maximize the purchase, we buy in very large quantities, most of the goods being sold in kilo(s) or litre(s). Not many references – less than 10,000, compared to four times more in a hypermarket. classic, almost no brands, mass-purchased products when they are at their lowest… And voila: count prices between 10 and 15% lower than elsewhere.
A change in habits
Does this store appeal to others? the future? Yves Marin, consumer and retail expert at the consulting firm Wavestone, does not risk the prognosis: “It’s a totally different model from what we know in Western Europe. It is therefore quite difficult to predict how the unaccustomed consumer will react.” Two Costco, American store resting at almost on the same model, have already pushed in Ile-de-France, respectively in 2017 and 2021, but not enough to upset habits for the moment. Same observation with Yolande Piris, professor of management sciences and specialist in distribution at Paris. the university Bretagne-Sud: “ our way of consuming. Low cost is one thing, this type of sign is another, intended for both individuals and businesses.” You may already be going at a discounter, but it is rarer for you to buy a 10 kg packet of rice. This is the model of these brands, Costco even operating only on subscription.
Just as you don’t see flowers without spring, this kind of supermarket only grows in times of economic crisis, says Pascale Hébel, associate director at C-Ways. anticipatory marketing consultancy. She takes the example of Lidl, which has struggled to set up in the early 2000s, when France did not experience such inflation. “The best would have been; that Atacadao and other such models are coming now, at the peak of inflation,” are you middle class?
Certainly, the economic forecast for 2023, and even for 2024, is not good. “The chances of sustained growth in the coming years are slim,” euphemised Pascale Hébel. To tell the truth, economists expect more from a recession that’s only glorious years. If you should never swear to anything, Yolande Piris believes that the model will find an audience when it comes: “ this kind of offer will most likely still be offered in a year, and even after.”
On the other hand, if the situation improves, nothing will help. Atacadao to make the trip to France, continues the management professor: “It’s a model that will absolutely not divert purchases from well-positioned families, it’s not going to attract only modest households. The price is the only argument; to propose, it’s therefore limited; in better economic times.” One could argue that the warehouse chain has nevertheless been able to establish itself durably in Brazil and the United States, “but these are countries more subject to deep inequalities. Stay at whether France is moving in this direction with the disappearance of the middle class,” warns Yves Marin.
A future of restriction
And then, cocorico, France remains France, country of gastronomy. A socio-cultural capital that counts when shopping. “The French are going to be more quality conscious. food products than a Brazilian or an American. It’s notably for ça that Lidl had to ''Getting gentrified'', because the argument of the price, which carries during the crises, quickly becomes insufficient afterwards”, reminds Pascale Hébel.
She speaks here of a time that those under 20 can not know, but when it was established, Lidl also played it in the pallet and zero fuss way, before going upmarket a little. Welcome to the infinite circle of discount, explains Pascale Hébel move upmarket, before this same model becomes bourgeois, another arrives with an even more efficient model…” In his early days, in the 1950s, Leclerc was also considered like hard-discount, before gradually normalizing. small.
Atacadao & Co could therefore become established on a long-term basis. Because if we are – we hope – at the peak of inflation and that the war in Ukraine – we hope – will end, “we are heading all the same towards a difficult period. Agricultural production risks becoming more expensive and resources more scarce with climate change. In this case, discounts and price cuts could remain an ultra-competitive argument”.