\"Systeme U. It is primarily the story of traditional retailers who, guided by the relationship with their customers, evolved a desire for independence and interdependence, and thus have acquired the status of distributors and retailers", Jean-Claude Bartholomew, former CEO of the group.
Systeme U is now the sixth largest French retail group. An independent tradesman group working within a cooperative structure, this group offers its partners as well as customers and associates active participation in the decision making bodies at regional and national levels.
Till date, the success of this formula has allowed the group to sustain 47,000 employees over 854 stores located throughout the French territory as well as the trademarks Marche U, Super U and Hyper U. Since the inception of the group in 1898, Systeme U has continued to focus its efforts on establishing a consistent brand image that is common to the three trademarks. \"When one is an independent network, the success and sustainability is dependent on the construction of a concept, its organization and a common picture,\" said Serge Papin, Head of International Marketing of Systeme U.
Such a strategy will strengthen the network by the homogeneity of its main goals: avoid fragmentation and promote simplification in the organization.
Since 2003, the group\'s ambitions have been reinforced, including the desire to increase market share to 10% by 2007. To do this, Systeme U has worked extensively on its organization as well as its management strategy. To understand how this popular French distributor attempts to strengthen its leading position in the eyes of French consumers, we will try to define the concept of cooperative grouping and independence of Systeme U.
Subsequently, the paper will analyze how the group operates its network to achieve its objective of homogeneity. Then, we will focus on the future of Systeme U in terms of organization and commitment to sustainability of the network. Finally, we will explain some strengths and weaknesses of the group.
Moving away from the traditional concept of the independent retailer, Systeme U has challenged conventional retail concepts and instead dug deep into its history, the strength of its development.The group\'s experience has fostered a collaborative and participatory relationship, putting man at the heart of the organization and decision making.
The evolution of Systeme U :
1898: Appearance of the first trade group.
1920: Creation of the counter buying cooperative in which UNICO develops.
1950: UNICO Group comprised 130 cooperatives and 10,000 retailers; this marked the beginning of a major movement centered on the concept of the independent business associate.
1969: The need for self-service was recognized. The concept of hypermarket and supermarket gradually gained popularity. For cooperatives merged into the UNICO, this marked the beginning of the consolidation process. By the end of the next two years, 74 groups remained in the national federation.
1975: With the creation of Super U, the concentration is on track. Performance becomes the primary objective of the grouping and the partners assemble together as a central and well structured force.
1983: Creation of Systeme U is facilitated by the willingness of shareholders to develop into a strong and efficient national structure; the term \"network Systeme U\" was born.
1989: Birth of Hyper U further confirmed the purchasing power of this group of buyers and cemented the group's positioning in the domestic market.
1991: Marche U is created. Consolidation and the federation become the watchwords of the group which is divided into five regional headquarters operating under a national headquarter.
Tags : Systeme U, hypermarket, supermarket, UNICO Group, sustainability, homogeneity, cooperative grouping
[...] In this context, it should allow the grouping of Systeme U to strengthen its position in the French territory while ensuring its sustainability. C. Creating an image Systeme U is now a powerful group in which notions of ‘Brand U' and Dealers' take precedence over the various brands and in which harmonization is slowly replacing the regional disparities. Serge Papin has therefore set two goals: - to be a local player with a powerful global conceptualization, - develop the reputation of U stores while developing brand awareness of Systeme U. [...]
[...] Radio: Systeme U produces radio commercials which is managed by the national center. Beside the big national radio stations, Systeme U has ‘internal' radios in its own stores. The shareholders have the opportunity to broadcast a spot for a promotion at their own store. For this, the store must contact the company Megamag for specifying the name of the store, the type of promotional activity, product type, and the date of commencement and completion of the operation. Television: Systeme U launched a major communication campaign with the slogan ‘Free Price' in September 2005 which helped forge a new image for its price grouping. [...]
[...] To achieve its ends, Systeme U has based its strategy on several key points, including the location of outlets, the logistics, product supply and communication to create a real competitive advantage. A - The networking strategy in the French territory 1 - The location of U stores Systeme U is yet to tap the potential of starting new ventures in many areas in the French territory. According to Serge Papin, U stores are mainly located in regions benefiting from positive migration flows, namely the Atlantic seaboard, the PACA region and Rhine-Rhone arc. [...]
[...] In supporting its commitment to national brands, Systeme U strengthens its image of proximity The brand of image Throughout history, the products of Systeme U have been designed to offer lower prices (about 15% cheaper), a quality to compete with that of major brands. Evolving according to the requirements and behavior of customers, products of Systeme U are regularly tested and monitored. These quality products are the result of a close collaboration between the group and the industry. The central bank, associated with the different regional and central corporations, thus realizes a demanding job of negotiating with contractors. [...]
[...] Among the trademarks currently held by Systeme Super U remains its most profitable player. Indeed, the concept of “location close to the consumer” has gained the appreciation of consumers and imparted a local player image on the group, something which has always been sought by Systeme competent reactivity between the global conceptualization and local adaptation breeds a model that appeals to supermarket customers.” Thus, the work implemented at the national level upon the image of Super U is awarded locally and affects the image of the Systeme U group. [...]
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