What does the first Atacadao supermarket that Carrefour is preparing to open in France look like?

What does the first Atacadao supermarket that Carrefour is preparing to open in France look like?
What does the first Atacadao supermarket that Carrefour is preparing to open in France look like?

The warehouse store must welcome its first customers, individuals and professionals, in Aulnay-sous-Bois (Seine-Saint-Denis) by the Olympic Games, perhaps even at the end of June.

Atacadao. This discount brand, well known in Latin America, particularly in Brazil, but also present in Morocco, does not yet say much to French consumers. Carrefour, which bought it in 2007, decided to import it into France. After having suffered the refusal of the municipality of Sevran (93), where the distributor once considered installing it, it will open a first store in the neighboring town of Aulnay-sous-Bois (93), near the O’Parinor shopping center. It will be operated by the Moroccan group LabelVie, which already managed the Carrefour hypermarket that this Atacadão replaces. Those responsible for the project hope to open “before the Olympic Games”. It could even be before, at the end of June.

In the meantime, work continues. In particular, it was necessary to reinforce the floors so that they could support heavy loads. The brand is in fact preparing to welcome both individual customers and professionals (restaurant owners, traders or associations, etc.), likely to purchase several pallets of products at once. Within two or three years, management is targeting 30% professional customers.

“It will surprise a lot of people”

“We import a philosophy and adapt it to the French market,” explains Noël Prioux, responsible for the deployment of Atacadão in France. For this history of Carrefour, advisor to CEO Alexandre Bompard and who notably managed the group’s business in Latin America, this new concept in France “will surprise a lot of people. » It covers 10,000 square meters, including 9,000 square meters of sales area. The checkouts, offices and spaces dedicated to merchants to store their shopping occupy the rest of the space. The aisles are very wide, enough to accommodate shopping carts and pallets. On both sides stand racks loaded with products. A bit like Ikea.

On the shelves, you will mainly find a food offering, except for special operations such as back to school, end-of-year celebrations or garden equipment, explains Noël Prioux. You can buy products individually or in bulk, without subscription. There will be, as elsewhere, national brands, but also own-brand products or others supplied by small and medium-sized French enterprises (SMEs). The manager of this project wants to “give a lot of room to fresh produce” and “value for money”. By collaborating with as many SMEs as possible, he wishes to offer them “a showcase”.

Low prices

It promises some of the lowest prices on the market. To do this, it is counting on this collaboration with new suppliers, who will deliver directly. “This avoids going through warehouses. By saving on logistics, we can lower prices,” explains Noël Prioux. The advertising budget also promises to be less important than that of competitors. He relies on word of mouth.

The manager does not give any indication of his turnover objectives, nor of Carrefour’s initial investment to launch this first point of sale in France. He only explains that it is “the largest investment” by the distributor in a commercial building “in 15 years”. The figure of around ten million euros has been circulating in recent months. Regarding the workforce, the Atacadao of Aulnay-sous-Bois plans to employ 220 to 250 people, depending on the time of year.

For Carrefour, this new store is a test. But Noël Prioux believes in it. He estimates that it will probably take “a few weeks, even a few months to adapt this model”, but he hopes to transform the trial to deploy it elsewhere on French territory.

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