Carrefour tests a discount hypermarket in Avignon

Unbeatable prices in a ‘low cost’ setting: this is the heart of the ‘Carrefour Essentiel’ concept, currently tested in Avignon by the distributor. This is one of the tracks explored by Carrefour to save its unprofitable hypermarkets.


With large panels the retailer shows his promises: unbeatable prices, round prices or ‘the difference 5 times refunded’. At the entrance, there is a large outlet area and a more traditional promotional area. The food products are presented on pallets in sober shelves. All departments are self-service, except the butcher’s shop operated by a third party. The store has a large bio radius, but the non-food offer has been greatly reduced.

Carrefour has transformed this unprofitable hypermarket into a discount formula. The area of ​​the store has been reduced from 10,500 m² to 7,500 m² and the range has increased from 32,000 to 15,000 references, resulting in wider aisles and a more ‘readable’ and clearer offer. Half of the 24 crates have been replaced by automatic crates. In short, the concept is aptly named: the retailer has removed all the superfluity to focus on the essentials. No decoration, no superfluous products. The group is considering a dozen discount stores of this type.

This ‘low cost’ store model is one of the tracks explored by Carrefour, in addition to two other concepts: ‘Rebonds’ which gives more local autonomy to the store manager and ‘Next’ which focuses mainly on food with a catering department. In addition, the retailer will transfer more stores to lease management. In all hypermarkets the share of non-food will be reduced to make room for fresh and organic and automatic boxes will be installed. The size of the large format stores will be reduced, the number of collection points will increase and the delivery services will be expanded. It should be noted that hypermarkets represent around 25% of Carrefour’s turnover in its French domestic market.