First shopping at Atacadão: is the Brazilian discount brand Carrefour really cheaper?

First shopping at Atacadão: is the Brazilian discount brand Carrefour really cheaper?
First shopping at Atacadão: is the Brazilian discount brand Carrefour really cheaper?

The first French store of the discount brand Atacadão opened its doors this Thursday morning in Aulnay-sous-Bois.

Its principle: the more you buy in bulk, the cheaper it is.

A TF1 team visited its shelves.

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Inflation: prices are soaring

They came at seven o’clock this Thursday morning, attracted by this new name: Atacadão (“bulk purchase”, in Portuguese), a Brazilian hard-discount brand developed by the Carrefour group. As we can see in the TF1 video above, inside, it’s not really the comfort of a store. It rather borrows the codes of a warehouse, with wide aisles and goods from floor to ceiling, sometimes still packaged. But the promise is tempting, with products on average 15% cheaper than in a traditional brand.

To verify this, the TF1 news compared the prices of two products with those of an average hypermarket. For a soda, the discounter is four cents cheaper, going from 1.50 euros to 1.46 euros. On the other hand, for a packet of chips, it is the same price in both brands, i.e. 0.99 euros. We are therefore a long way from the 15% savings announced. Because to really lower the bill, you have to buy in very large volumes. Oil in five liter cans, rice in 20 kilo bags. In fact, we find here each product in an XXL version. “If you have a large family, it’s more advantageous than in other normal shopping centers”underlines a young man.

TF1

This brand hopes to find a place in the race for low prices in mass distribution. How ? First by limiting the number of references. Here, there are no permanent departments for textiles, toys or household appliances, for example. “As soon as there is a quality product at a good price, we buy it. It could be a truck, it could be a pallet. And you will have another opportunity, a vacuum cleaner, a steam generator”explains Noël Prioux, executive director in charge of development.

Another tip for lowering prices is to avoid logistics as much as possible. “Mineral water is typically the product that comes directly from the manufacturer without going through warehouses, delivered directly to the store. So, it is transport savings that we put into the price”, continues the director.

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This store is a test with French customers, who are increasingly looking for good deals. If successful, the brand could, like its direct competitors, expand into the rest of France.


Virginie FAUROUX | TF1 report: Roxane Sygula and Erwan Drouillac

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