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France: Carrefour to launch Atacadão format in Europe

Updated: Dec 16, 2022

Retail Chain Carrefour is finalising the European launch of its hard discount cash-and-carry brand Atacadão, already available in Brazil and Morocco. The president of the French distribution group, Alexandre Bompard, recently confirmed plans to test the new store model in France from autumn of 2023.

According to French media reports, the first Atacadão store could open in Seine-Saint-Denis, where an existing Carrefour hypermarket would be transferred into the cash-and-carry format imported from Brazil. Created by Alcides Parizotto in 1962 in Brazil, the wholesale format was acquired by Carrefour in 2007 for €825 million.

Subsequently, the French group introduced it in Argentina, where it later became Carrefour Maxxi; Colombia, where the stores were sold in 2012 to Cencosud; and Morocco, where there are three stores operating in Tangier, Fez and Oujda currently. In Brazil, there are 283 Atacadão physical and online stores in 170 cities, open seven days a week, and employing around 60,000 people. Presenting itself as a halfway between a hypermarket and a wholesaler, Atacadão is aimed at both individual and professional customers, offering 10-15% lower prices than standard stores.

Low Prices All Year

Atacadão does not have promotions but rather offers low prices all year long and, the more you buy, the cheaper the price you will pay. The points of sale are in fact large warehouses, with goods sold directly in boxes, on pallets or on metal shelves. The shops are organised in a practical and functional way to facilitate the search for products and the circulation with large volumes of goods.

The product offer is limited and comprises around 10,000 food and non-food references, mainly private labels. A hypermarket generally offers around 40,000 products. Atacadão is Carrefour Brasil's ‘jewel in the crown’, representing half of the French group's sales in Brazil. Carrefour is planning to invest around €150 million in the expansion of Atacadão, aiming to reach 470 stores in Brazil and for growth in France.

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