A new discount supermarket in France aims to sell up to 10% cheaper

A new low-cost supermarket brand is arriving in France, promising to offer prices up to 10% cheaper than other brands through a supplier partnership model.

Named Toujust, the brand was created by Fabrice Gerber, a former hypermarket director who previously worked with Aldi, Leclerc and Système U. He said the store’s margin is 28%, which he uses to calculate his prices.

The name Toujust is a play on the French phrase ‘tout juste’, which means ‘all fair’ or ‘just right’.

The supermarket works directly with suppliers to ensure lower prices for shoppers. It also shares 25% of its profits directly with manufacturers and suppliers and cuts out as many “middlemen” as possible.

Consumer prices will be at least 5-10 percent cheaper than those offered by competitors, Mr. Gerber said. The difference can be significant for some items, especially since a 2022 study showed that the same basket of goods can vary by up to 17% depending on brand and location.

Read more: Which supermarket in France is the cheapest? Tests show a 17% difference

The first store will open in Alès (Gard, Occitanie) in March. The group plans up to 50 more stores across the country this year, including in Nord. Dorey said it would aim to open up to 310 stores in the next four to five years.

In the first quarter of 2023, it aims to open eight sites, including in Lens (Pas-de-Calais), Montauban (Tarn-et-Garonne), Saint-Quentin (Aisne), Saint-Maur (Indres) and Terrasson-Lavildieux (Dordogne).

In a press release, Mr. Gerber said: “In the context of an unprecedented economic and health crisis associated with a historic surge in commodity prices, the Toujust brand was born from simple observation and common sense: eliminating the middlemen and their margins that weigh down our shopping carts .

“This would make it possible to put suppliers back at the center of our consumption, while offering as many people as possible the opportunity to eat healthy at a fair and affordable price.”

The locals said BFMTV that they will go wherever “there are low prices and offers”, and that the cost of living crisis means any successful supermarket “will have to be cheaper because life is very difficult at the moment”.

Also read: Which food products have risen in price the most in France?

One producer, Bruno Viff, a cow farmer from Allier who works with Toujust, said: “This supermarket seems to respect everyone, from the producer to the consumer, which has not always been the case for other stores.”

Jean-Marie Pigut, meat production manager at Tradition Terroir du Sud Ouest (TTSO), said: “They will sell things at a fair price because they will be partners, in a sense, so everyone wins.”

Ultimately, the supermarket plans to have 7,000 products for sale, of which 80% will be food products and 45% will be fresh. He says he will aim to have as many “Made in France” products as possible.

It will also feature a bakery and deli with products prepared on site, as well as a breakfast area selling street food-inspired dining options.

Rising food prices

The news comes as food prices in France continue to rise, sometimes higher than inflation, as 12% per annum in 2022. Some items may see spending double annually in 2023.

Read more: List of supermarket foods expecting higher prices in France

Olivia Gregoire, the minister responsible for consumer affairs, proposed that all supermarkets sell a basket of 20 items at close to cost, so that shoppers on a budget can buy the bare essentials.

However, the idea was dismissed as financially impossible by the head of the E.Leclerc brand, Michel-Edouard Leclerc.

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