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Large distribution: a former manager reacts.

Right of reply | Posted on 2021-05-26 11:41

Perhaps the Supermarkets is not the great Satan that we would like them to be, but for all that, let's not fall for angelism. Also before responding briefly to the three questions asked, I will voluntarily instruct the GD file to counterbalance the introduction developed with brio and humor by Bertrand Guély.

Thirty years of sales and marketing management and then general management in agrifood groups make me think it is legitimate to bear witness to the excesses of Mass Distribution:

- corruption of many policies within the departmental commercial town planning commissions from the beginning of the 2010s, these granting the establishment of a hypermarket on the outskirts of their cities in return for the financing of their political parties or an infrastructure road by GD with the consequence, among other things, of the desertification of town centers by the disappearance of local shops ... replaced in recent years by mini markets of the same brand.

- heated negotiations most of the time with suppliers, with the exception of course of large multinational industrial groups too powerful to be able to do without their products and their international brands: soft drinks, cosmetics, parapharmacy, food products, etc. We are then witnessing a real racket which sometimes leads to the breakage of the production tools of certain SMEs by abusive delisting of products.

These annual negotiations on purchase prices sometimes drag on for several weeks in a detestable climate of threats, sanctions and even humiliation which astonish the representatives of foreign manufacturers.

Negotiations that finally take place throughout the year so that the manufacturer participates in the anniversary of a sign, a price party, etc ... which will be accompanied by flyers in your mailboxes. The price reductions and the printing of the flyers are obviously the responsibility of the manufacturers… and not of the mass distribution.

Let us salute the overflowing imagination of large-scale retailers to create an event that will allow them to reach out to their suppliers a little more.

- obsessive search for the lowest price sometimes to the detriment of the quality of the product.

If the French GD has metastasized the Iberian, Italian or Belgian brands, the truth obliges to say that the big Anglo-Saxon distributors consider, them, the quality of the products as a determining element of the “negotiation”.

A new Grand frais brand seems to be moving in this direction.

The balance of power between GD and SMEs is disproportionate. Faced with them five central purchasing in France, if one of these five "dereference" a manufacturer, it loses more or less twenty percent of its turnover. Imagine the consequences of this economic dependence on the load plan of a factory.

Finally, to stop this deliberately limited indictment which does not interest consumers who are above all anxious to buy cheap, it is necessary to evoke the ubiquitous system of "back and front margins" understandable only by insiders capable of using their Excel tables, which are essential to manage the colossal amounts of discounts, rebates and rebates granted to GD.

Let us end on a positive note by recognizing that GD, given the large quantities purchased, has enabled manufacturers to modernize, to create efficient factories making it possible to offer products that are affordable by all consumers but also to innovate and develop. export their production.

As always, it is the excesses and abuses of the system that must be condemned.

1-What channel….

The false names, pointed out by Bertrand Guély, concerning certain products sold in open air markets are also sometimes found on the shelves of supermarkets and medium-sized surfaces, but in a more insidious manner. Large characters for "France" but smaller to indicate the origin of certain components of the product. The devil is often hiding in the details.

Regular attendance at these markets makes it easy to identify small producers and ensure the quality of the fruits, vegetables and meat products they offer.

2-Where am I going ...

Same answer as before. The prices offered by local producers are not systematically higher than those of GD because direct sales allow the margin and profit of GD to partially benefit consumers.

3-If I want ...

The choice also depends on the variety of circuits: open air markets mentioned above, specialized artisans (butchers, bakers, greengrocers, etc.), numerous short circuits offering group purchases from small local producers, etc.

Finally, we should point out the emergence of producers who themselves transform, in small manufacturing units, the products of their farms sold in their own stores.

Conclusion: mass distribution and short circuits each have their qualities and their faults, so it is up to consumers to be vigilant and to make the best choice.

Posted on 2021-05-26 11:41

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