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French Consumers Massively Cutting Essential Purchases, Carrefour CEO Warns

By Donna Ahern
French Consumers Massively Cutting Essential Purchases, Carrefour CEO Warns

The CEO of French retailer Carrefour warned on Tuesday that consumers were massively curbing purchases of essential staples due to high prices, and urged French authorities to delay a law limiting the size of promotions retailers can offer.

"We are seeing a non-spending tsunami in France. When essential staples are no longer accessible, when people go without essential goods, one must act," Alexandre Bompard, chairman and chief executive, Carrefour told Franceinfo radio.

Pending Meeting 

Bompard, who like other retail bosses is due to meet Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire on Wednesday to discuss cost of living issues, said he would ask the minister for "a one-year moratorium on the application of the Descrozailles law", which limits promotions on beauty, hygiene and care products.

The law, passed in March 2023 and due to come into effect in March 2024, notably limits to 34% the size of promotions a retailer can offer on beauty, hygiene and care products.


Today Carrefour, for instance, is free to sell washing powder at a 60% discount, he said.

At 0937 GMT, Carrefour shares were off 3.7% at €17.56.

Cut Prices 

Minister Le Maire said in June that he had secured a pledge from 75 top food companies to cut prices on hundreds of products next month to reflect a fall in raw material costs.

Supply disruptions exacerbated by Russia's invasion of Ukraine last year boosted commodity costs and fuelled a global surge in inflation.


But food prices have continued to climb in France and many other countries even after energy and agricultural commodity costs fell sharply.

Read More: How France Secured A Fall In Food Prices

News by Reuters, edited by Donna Ahern, Checkout. For more retail news, click here. Click subscribe to sign up for the Checkout print edition.

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