"Our operation is a real flop, we have a feeling of total waste". Monday, a commercial transaction at the store Auchan Center-Deux in Saint-Etienne turned to riot, tells the boss of the regional daily supermarket Provence.
The supermarket offered a particularly attractive promotion for customers: the purchase of certain products such as televisions or scooters gave rise to a full refund in purchase vouchers.
As a result, a hundred or so customers stormed the store, going as far as scrambling to get inside. "When our agent came out, the crowd threw himself on him, it's true that there was a big rush, an aggressive crowd," says the boss of the supermarket.
"I apologize to our customers, we wanted to make this day a moment of pleasure and we find ourselves with disappointed customers and our staff very shocked," he continues. A client present that day even evokes "an indescribable chaos, where people are mixed up exhausted by so much waiting reduced to nothing and free riders doped by the lure of the gain".
This story is reminiscent of Intermarché, which organized a promotional campaign in January 2018, in which certain products, including Nutella jars, were offered at -70%. There were scenes of shoving and fighting in several stores. Videos of customers rushing on the pots of the famous spread with hazelnut had circulated on social networks.
The distributor finally acknowledged at the end of June that it had not complied with the regulations and had paid 375,000 euros to the DGCCRF (Directorate-General for Competition, Consumer Affairs and Fraud Control) to settle the dispute.