The first chain of “collaborative supermarkets” has chosen to open its doors in Alès on March 1. The brand promises knockdown prices: it will be “5 to 10% cheaper” than its competitors.
“Collaborative supermarkets for good products at the right price.” The slogan of the Toujust brand, a newcomer to the world of discounters, is a source of envy. The concept is packing its bags in Alès on March 1st.
The capital of the Cévennes will be the first point of sale in France, before nine other openings during the first half of 2023 (50 stores planned by the end of the year). Within four to five years, the distributor aims to flood the low-cost distribution market (read below): 310 points of sale and 4,000 employees…
In Alès, before flooding France…
In the first half of 2023, stores will open first in Alès (Gard), then in Monéteau (Yonne), Cambrai (Nord), Lempdes (Puy-de-Dôme), Lens (Pas-de-Calais), Montauban (Tarn-et-Garonne), Terrasson (Dordogne), Saint-Quentin (Aisne), Saint-Maur (Indre) and Arbent-Oyonnax (Ain). Toujust aims to open 70 stores of less than 1,000 m2 in medium-sized towns of 8 to 12,000 inhabitants before March 31, 2024.
If Toujust chose Alès to start, it is certainly for the popular character of the city, illustrated in particular by its unemployment rate, higher than 12%. The distributor is positioned on “discount prices”, with “70% of white label products” on mass consumption (7,000 references with 80% food items, including 45% fresh products), the bazaar…
The brand undertakes to offer “the right price up to 5 to 10% cheaper than its direct competitors”. The store will be complemented by a hot spot for fresh bread and pastries, and a snack area with a low-priced dish of the day.
Stop intermediaries to reduce margins
The originality of the concept is based on “the participation of suppliers in the capital of the stores”, in the form of a cooperative, “in return for their best prices”. The store explains “removing intermediaries as well as their respective margins, and freeing consumers too often caught between purchasing power and the demand for justice vis-à-vis producers.”
Toujust, an assumed competitor of Lidl, Aldi or Grand Frais, intends to respond to concerns about rising food prices, “at a time when 80% of French people think that their purchasing power will deteriorate in 2023 and 34% cannot make ends meet,” notes Fabrice Gerber, founder of Toujust, in the latest communication from a group that presents itself as a solution to inflation.
In addition, the new supermarket chain specifies that it wants to focus on advising and supporting customers, with around fifteen employees at the point of sale. “Against the acceleration of automation triggered since the Covid-19 epidemic.”