Supermarkets: Costco arrives in France

Supermarkets: Costco arrives in France 1

On Tuesday, the US juggernaut Costco laying the first stone on French soil, in Essonne, in Villebon-sur-Yvette, after 5 years of lobbying. Leeks, bicycles, game consoles or champagne sold in large batches on pallets … The concept of CostCo upsets supermarkets.

This is a hyper consumption of the symbol that comes to our shores today. The Americans themselves say in a report produced by CNBC:  “It pushes us to buy large quantities of things we do not need. That’s why I love him as much as I hate him. “

In Essonne

The store will be 13,550 m2, will have 893 parking spaces, and is expected to employ up to 280 people at cruising speed. Cost of operation: 15 to 20 million, excluding land. The inauguration is scheduled for April 2017, two and a half years behind the original schedule. The goal is to open 10 to 15 stores in France next ten years including 4-6 in the Ile-de-France, and one to two per city.

Its own private label, Kikland, will also be available and will represent, as in its other stores abroad, 14 to 15% of the products.

How it works ?

One could say that this is still a discounter, but unlike others. The peculiarity is that, to buy at Costco, you must be a member. Membership will be € 50 per year for individuals and businesses.

The stores contain a smaller range of products, about 4000 as against 80,000 to 100,000 in the usual hypermarkets. There are, for example, just four choices of yoghurt, and 8-10 biscuits. Camembert sold by the kilo and chocolate bars per pack of 24.

The company stocks its stores up to the maximum, and when the stock is finished, wait until the next delivery.

In numbers

With 715 stores, including 501 in the United States, CostCo is second in the US behind Wal-Mart ogre and 3rd in Canada. He dethroned Carrefour its 2nd place worldwide in 2015. The concept also exists in Mexico, Japan, or Australia. In Europe it has 28 stores in the UK and two in Spain. So France is its third host countries in the EU.

Worldwide turnover in 2015: € 106 billion.

The story

CostCo, created in the 1970s, was initially reserved for companies. Then the sign went open to individuals. The group is known to have a beneficial social policy for its employees. In 2013, the deputy director of the Brooklyn warehouse told the newspaper Les Echos:  “we are the best paid of the market” .

Gary Swindells, responsible for Costco France says “our social policy is the same all over the world, we do not offer a job but a career. According to Les Echos , Costco operates a policy however unattractive for investors. ” Better to be employee or shareholder customer “according to Bill Dreher of Deutsche Bank.  

Costco arrives in France
Costco store in Calgary, Canada. | ANTHONY Bolante

In the US and Canada, the turnover rate of the card is 91%. Did they think that the French, unlike Americans and Canadians roam in bit-size pickup? Not to mention the Lilliputian size of Parisian apartments where it is already difficult to store the cans …

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