Auchan is one of the world's leading retail groups. As shown on appendix 1, this group operates 357 hypermarkets in 11 countries across the world, and 649 supermarkets in France, Spain, Italy, Poland, Russia and Morocco. In France, Auchan has two main competitors Leclerc and Carrefour, its market share are 7.4% while Leclerc reaches 17.5% and Carrefour 11.8% in 2004. Carrefour is also the most attractive store, with an attractiveness rate of 84.8%, but Auchan is the second one with 82.4%. The latter is also the most frequented store in France and in addition, French stores are only 62% of Auchan's sales. Indeed, Auchan has a strategy of expansion. Since 1981, Auchan has begun to extend its supermarkets, first in Spain, changing its name literally by "Alcampo", then in 1989 in Italy, and finally in Russia in 2002.
[...] Another proof of Auchan's understanding of it consumers' behaviour is the creation of Auchan direct and Auchan drive. Launched in 2000, Auchan Direct, Auchan Group's cyber market, was only delivering in Paris; and in 2004, it has extended its delivery zones to the whole Paris region. Auchan enable its customers to benefit from the low prices of the hypermarkets, on the contrary of the existing cyber markets in France. On Auchan Direct, the average basket is 160€. In 2000, at its shopping centre in Leers (France), Auchan opened Auchan Drive, the first drive-in service for bulky or cumbersome products. [...]
[...] Auchan make a lot of surveys to target its customers and that's why it works well. Actually, it has been proved that true understanding of shoppers' decision making process is the key to retail success”. That's why marketers have to understand who are theirs customers, what they want to be changed in the stores and what them like in the existing products. If the customer is satisfied, he will become loyal to the store, and retailers would like to increase their customers' store loyalty”. [...]
[...] To meet the need of its customers, Auchan created innovative services such as a snack area, an ice-cream stand, and a café where shoppers can take time out, a beauty salon, a nursery, computers for use by customers, possibility of watching DVD trailers and listening to the CDs on offer. The cashiers at Auchan are formed to be as nice as possible, to put the purchase of the customers in the bags, and to ask and suggest the customer to obtain the fidelity card. [...]
[...] Then, Auchan have to be aware of the fact that in case the store is out of stock, the majority of the consumers will choose another store, not only to buy the product missing, but probably to do the remaining shopping. Indeed, according to Corsten and Gruen of buyers facing a stock-out will choose a substitution store. Concerning the retail atmospherics, Auchan is a retailing chain, so it is not the kind of shop in which you like to be, or to be seen. [...]
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