Group Carrefour, as part of its business experience in retailing, supports the opening of social grocery stores to face an increasing number of families dealing with poverty, including in the food sector.
CARREFOUR develops social grocery stores
6. Clients and consumers
Access to basic services
- Fighting against poverty thanks to food aid, and taking part in social integration.
- Not disposing unsold products any more
- Involving the employees so that they can share their professional knowledge.
Group Carrefour GB, in partnership with Association PACTE, opened the first social grocery store called « les Capucines » in Bruxelles-Marolles in 2003. The group was first asked to provide grocery products, hygiene products and cleaning products on a free basis. The products were sold at modest price in a place made available by the association and located near the targeted inhabitants. Two hundred and fifty families considered beneficiaries as of right and selected by the city’s social services (the CPAS, Centre Public d’Aide Sociale) can shop in that corner store. Association PACTE also offers the youths the opportunity to be trained on retail jobs so that they can work as students in Carrefour shops later on.
Carrefour widened its experience between 2003 and 2006, opening 4 convenience stores in Belgium for more than 1,000 families. The store is provided with samples controled by the central purchasing department (from textile, home and garden and toys departments) or with specific pallets from the warehouses. Such products are 80% cheaper than the price people actually pay in the 561 GB-branded shops and Carrefour Belgium shops.
This model was presented as the « best practice » by the group’s foundation, which has been involved in developing and financing other social grocery stores since then, renovating buildings or supplying the shops with the required equipment. Local patronage organizations are involved in material and logistic support, taking part in the shops’ performances. The group supplies the corner stores with the required equipment (aisle shelves, refrigerators, display shelves). Products from different brand names may be sold in the same social grocery store.
CONTRIBUTION TO COMPANY PERFORMANCE
- The employees show real enthusiasm as wellas solidarity related to their job, as 5 grocery shops were opened in Belgium and 6 of them in France. 561 Carrefour hypermarkets have been involved.
- The business expertise has been recognised on an international scale: the first social grocery shop was opened in Athens in 2007 ; the group is involved in creating a supply logistics platformfor the national network of the 80 french social grocery shops.
- 1,000 families benefit from the social groceries in Belgium, and they are more than 1,650 families in France. The products that are sold in corner shops are 80% cheaper.
- Some can have the opportunity to be trained
- The model can be spread to other brand names or to other countries.