This is called opportunity marketing. Leclerc and Carrefour surf on the rising wave of motorist discontent. The protest against the increase in fuel prices is in full swing, after a rise of nearly 20% of diesel fuel over one year. While this fuel is moving at prices close to its record (1.515 euro per liter on average last week), the two retail giants reaffirm their discounter status by seizing the case. They announced Monday their intention to sell gasoline and diesel "at cost price".

For Carrefour, these "Fuel Days" will be applied " from today [lundi 5 novembre, NDLR] and until November 17 ". They are valid only in the 200 or so hypermarkets of the brand. On his blog, Michel-Edouard Leclerc announces that "The E. Leclerc Movement has decided to extend its supply of fuels at cost, initially scheduled from November 2 to 4, until November 30, 2018". And to specify: "No fuel margin in November. " This is the answer of the shepherd to the shepherdess. The operation concerns the 684 service stations of the E.Leclerc network.

Preserve purchasing power

On France Info, this Monday morning, Michel-Edouard Leclerc judged 'Legitimate' the growls of the French. "We hear it and we have to answer it", he added. For him, this means taking "Initiatives necessary to preserve purchasing power". Carrefour believes, for its part, that the "Purchasing power is not limited to the price of gasoline". The group took the opportunity to announce a series of measures aimed at "Defend the wallet of its customers […] especially in view of the end of year celebrations ». These include Christmas toys, "Black Friday" and payment facilities. The two signs support where it hurts: the wallet of the French.

Firmness of the executive

In fact, all supers and hypermarkets in France, or almost, use gasoline and diesel as appeal products creating traffic in shopping centers. With lower rates than other distribution networks.

Large supermarkets have become a major majority in the network of service stations in France, with 61.4% of volumes distributed last year, even if on the 11,147 service stations (47 points of sale in less last year) in France, 54% still belong to traditional brands.

It is to stop the drop in sales that some oil companies have sold their assets, while others have changed their strategy. Total has thus created its own competition with the Total Access network, which, on average, has a fuel price that is ten cents per liter lower than its historic stations, but a price equivalent to that of the mass retail average. ensures the group.

The Total Access Response

Total Access has 679 service stations, in areas with the largest flows: they now represent 30% of Total's network but half of its volumes distributed. However, the distribution margin is the same everywhere: around a penny per liter, according to a spokesman. With soaring fuel prices, Total's historic network saw its sales fall from 3% to 4% in the first nine months of the year when Total Access stations posted sales volumes between 0 and -1%. The low price holds the volumes.

Philippe Bertrand, Véronique Le Billon, Enrique Moreira


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