Groupe Auchan and Système U announced purchasing partnership

CROIX, France, 2015-2-16 — /EPR Retail News/ — Sharing the same philosophy of the business they operate in, the management of Groupe Auchan and Système U decided to inform their staff representatives of plans to take this partnership further.

Last September, Groupe Auchan and Système U announced their purchasing partnership, when the U group entrusted a negotiation mandate covering major international and domestic brands to Eurauchan, which is the purchasing department of Groupe Auchan and its partners in France.

In the face of stagnating or even declining household food consumption, a deflationary context and a shared philosophy of the business they operate in – which has been further confirmed by the past 5 months of the purchasing partnership – the management of both groups decided to informer their staff representatives of plans to take this partnership further.

In accordance with the legislation applicable, the two groups are set to embark on discussions aimed at creating an alliance based on a joint strategy involving:

  • closer cooperation in the purchasing field, bearing in mind that products sold by producers and SME in the fresh fruit and vegetables, cheese, meat, fish, bread, pâtisserie and cooked meats departments, as well as local products, are not expected to form part of this plan;
  • efforts to seek closer synergies in the areas of development, network organisation and commercial and organisational functions.

Working together, the two companies want to:

  • become a major player in the French GMS market, by creating a network offering the country’s best geographical coverage and the best concepts, both in terms of formats and distribution channels, drawing on the strengths of each store brand;
  • perpetuate their original business models within the French economic landscape and developing their two product brands in France in a balanced but dynamic way: U and Auchan.

The two companies’ managements are convinced that they can build a sustainable new economic performance that will benefit their customers, their staff, their economic partners, their associated family businesses and, in more general terms, their local environment.

Together with Groupe Schiever, a historic business partner of Groupe Auchan, which shares the same values, this new entity should be in a position to take on a role of responsible leadership within the French market, once it has been given the go-ahead by the relevant competition authorities.

Système U, the Système U cooperative, operates 1,575 stores in France, which are comprised as follows: 832 stores in the discount network (Hyper U and Super U) and 743 in the convenience store network (UExpress and Utile). Together, these stores and the associated logistics centres employ a workforce of 75,000. In 2014, the group’s sales amounted to 18.51 billion euros including tax but excluding fuel, and it held a market share of 10.3%.

Groupe Auchan is an unlisted company. 88.8% of its share capital is owned by the Mulliez Family Association and the remaining 11.2% by its employees. It operates in 16 countries and employs nearly 331,000 staff, of whom 72,000 are in France. It is organised into 5 business sectors: hypermarkets, supermarkets, retail real estate, banking and other activities.

In France, it has 137 hypermarkets and 432 supermarkets operating under store brands, and holds a total market share of 10.9%. In 2013, the group’s sales amounted to 48.1 billion euros excluding taxes.

Groupe Schiever is a family business whose share capital is fully owned by the family. It operates in 3 countries, employs 6,000 staff and owns 10 hypermarkets, 80 supermarkets and 126 convenience stores. In 2013, the group’s sales amounted to 1.120 billion euros excluding taxes.

Press Contacts:

Groupe Auchan
François Cathalifaud, Press Relations Manager Telephone: +33 (0)1 58 65 08 10 / +33 (0)6 21 09 84 35

Système U
Thierry Desouches, Système U spokesman Telephone: +33 (0)6 07 16 67 50