“Hunters are busy around Casino”

A Casino supermarket, in Montpellier, on May 24, 2019.

Ihe animal is at bay, the hunters take out their trumpets to sound the hallali and recount the feat of the hunt. The fate of Casino, the oldest of the major French distributors, no longer belongs to it. On Sunday May 14, one of the hunters, Moez-Alexandre Zouari, came out in the media to defend his takeover project and propose an alliance with his rival Daniel Kretinsky, the Czech businessman (also an indirect shareholder of the World), which targets the same prey.

Read also: Article reserved for our subscribers Casino: two offers to save the distributor, one with Intermarché and Teract, the other initiated by Kretinsky

As the cancer of the debt gnaws at the group, the whole small world of French distribution approaches the animal to sniff it: Carrefour, Auchan and Intermarché allied with Teract.

This company brings together the cooperative farmers of InVivo, the businessmen Matthieu Pigasse and Xavier Niel (individual shareholders of the World) and one of the main franchisees of the Casino group, the same Moez-Alexandre Zouari. The latter deploys an offensive speech to seduce the shareholders and managers of Casino, starting with Jean-Charles Naouri, the owner of Casino.

Find flexibility

It offers a vertical integration model based on the producers of InVivo’s 188 cooperatives and joining forces with Intermarché and its 56 factories to manufacture own-brand, private label products, which could represent up to half of sales. of the group. A strategy that aims to break with the traditional model of trade negotiations with independent manufacturers.

Eternal subject: since the division of labor exists, should we do everything ourselves or prefer commercial exchange? The role of distributors as intermediary condemns them to constantly navigate between the temptation of verticalization, which promises better margins but is costly in capital and reduces competition, and that of pure intermediation, which is more dynamic, but also more fragile. . The current, more difficult times seem to lend themselves to the first approach. The success of brands like Decathlon, even Lidl, seems to argue for this path.

But to reduce the cost and regain flexibility, the other fashionable trend is that of the franchise, or even the group of independents, supposed to release the initiatives. This time, it is the Leclerc or Intermarché model, which, with their supposedly higher margins than those of large integrated groups such as Carrefour or Casino, has become a school. With, as a justice of the peace, an inconstant consumer, hurt by inflation and seduced by the sirens of discount. He was the one who started the hunt.

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