Systeme U has partnered Auchan to create a common central purchasing system, effective on October 2014.
• The cooperation comes in a difficult economic environment of deflation that influences the entire retail environment in France.
• According to Kantar Worldpanel, the combined market share of Auchan and Systeme U was 21.4% in the first 8 months of 2014, whereas Carrefour Group reached 20.4% market share and Leclerc reached 19.9%.
• The retailers will negotiate together the acquisition of international and national brands, including those produced in small and medium enterprises.
• The agreement does not concern private labels and fresh products from agricultural sector.
Systeme U has announced in May 2014 that they will join CORE Buying Group, effective on January 2015, with the intention of improving its margins and pricing, a procurement alliance joined by Colruyt, Conad, Coop and Rewe. This could be a challenge to be attained, considering the latest procurement cooperation announced with Auchan.
Auchan has made several changes in the structure of purchases department: in September 2013, the retailer replaced the department by a Customer Management Center, managed since February 2014 by Philippe Courbois.