How to increase buying power – step 1

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How to increase buying power – step 1

First of all I will plead ignorance as to how the supermarket chains choose their locations around the country, but one thing is for sure: in Strasbourg it’s fixed.

What I mean is, the monster hypermarchés or even the large local supermarkets, all appear to enjoy precisely no local competition. This is either due to the chains operating a cartel (which is illegal and hard to prove) or it is down to the local government planning process.

In Strasbourg for example one chain enjoys almost exclusive access to the Strasbourg market: The Auchan Group (which includes Galeries Gourmande, ATAC, and Simply). No other chain has such a grip on the populaous’ supply of groceries. Not a Carrefour nor an E.LeClerc in sight. The nearest Carrefour is in Mulhouse and the nearest other competitors are all tucked away a in the commuterbelt. (Hoenheim – Super U; Vendenheim – Cora; Erstein – E.LeClerc; Schiltigheim – Rond Point) And even here, these stores enjoy almost exclusive access to the local market too.

Now, I’m not suggesting that the cathedral be knocked down to make way for a brand new Carrefour, but if the French really want to increase their buying power they need to consider that the basic point of Free Enterprise is competition.

By | 2008-03-03T18:03:08+00:00 March 3rd, 2008|Strasbourg|4 Comments

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4 Comments

  1. Ritchie May 20, 2008 at 8:07 pm - Reply

    Ah..the ‘pouvoir de chat’ debate! 🙂

    Indeed there is a monopoly that has only recently been ‘recognised’ by the government. Apparently they passed new laws (as always a scaled back version of their original plans) to dergulate the retail industry….so hopefully we will see cheaper products, more choice and more competition.

    We shop at Lidl and Aldi (either in Kehl or France) and they are 30% cheaper than the french supermarkets…slightly less choice but fair enough!

    Men’s clothing is another thing…not much choice and expensive…people seem to like paying the full price for everything! 🙂 Where are the TK-Maxx and Primark’s of France???

    Ooph…must calm down!

  2. Bart May 22, 2008 at 4:56 pm - Reply

    Not wanting to sound cheap – I find H&M and Monoprix meet most of my clothing needs – and they’re dirt cheap. If you really want to slum it – you could always shop at C&A. 😉

  3. Ross June 3, 2008 at 9:10 am - Reply

    What about the scaffolding monopoly enjoyed by Nonnenmacher et Fils ?

  4. Bart June 3, 2008 at 12:36 pm - Reply

    Yes I’ve noticed that one too.

    On the clothing theme – I went into ‘Takko’, in Kehl at the weekend and certainly did not get the impression that it was any cheaper than say Auchan.

    I have a feeling that this impression that ‘everything’ is cheaper in Germany is little more than a mass delusion. I bet those stores in Kehl are making an absolute killing!

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