1990-1995 status and perspectives for hard-discount in France

Date of publication: June 15, 1995


In this paper we shall analyse and put in perspective the most significant development in French retail distribution since the appearance of hypermarkets - the emergence of a new type of store, the Hard-Discount store. In the first section we shall analyse its very rapid establishment and the characteristics of its range and price positioning in comparison with the other players already present. Hypermarkets and Supermarkets. We shall highlight some results, certainly a significant market share and penetration but a still weak power to attract and establish loyalty which illustrates the deficiencies of this retailing formula. Analyses by market are not only a fairly good illustration of its outstanding competitiveness in some areas but also of its limitations in more “involving” markets. The reasons for this mixed performance are linked not only to the social and economic context of the years 1991-1995, but also to a profound and long lasting change in the relationship of some consumers to products and in their perception of brands and, in short, the way they purchase and consume.

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