Système U says it “heard” Borne’s call but announces a simple cost price operation

By Julien Da Sois

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For economic reasons, it will not be possible for companies, SMEs of Système U, to carry out mive sales operations at a loss of fuel», declared Dominique Schelcher on Wednesday morning in front of the deputies. ERIC PIERMONT / AFP

The distributor’s boss Dominique Schelcher confirmed that he would launch a new sales operation at cost price the first weekend of October.

“Business as usual.” After rejecting on Wednesday, just like her main competitors, Élisabeth Borne’s proposal to sell fuel at a loss, Système U confirmed the launch of a new sales operation at cost price at the beginning of October. On X (formerly Twitter), the boss of the distributor Dominique Schelcher said Wednesday afternoon that he had “heard the call» from the Prime Minister and the government «to find solutions to soaring fuel prices“. But there is no question of selling at a loss.

System U «will play its role, as since the start of this inflationary crisis, by launching a sales operation at cost price on the first weekend of October, on the 6th and 7th.“, he specifies. Not really a surprise, given that Système U was one of the brands to have announced that they were preparing operations at cost price last week, following the call launched by the Minister of Energy Transition Agnès Pannier-Runacher.

The cooperative group had at the time followed in the footsteps of Casino and Intermarché. At the first, operations at cost price are planned every weekend, Friday included, from September 1 to October 22. For Intermarché, it will be September 29 and 30, October 27 and 28, November 24 and 25 and December 15 and 16.

Read alsoSelling at a loss of fuel: behind the scenes of the fiasco of Élisabeth Borne’s project

The no of m distribution to selling at a loss

However, Système U is the only distributor not to have completely excluded the use of selling at a loss in its service stations. “For economic reasons, it will not be possible for companies, SMEs of Système U, to carry out mive sales operations at a loss of fuel», Judged Dominique Schelcher on Wednesday morning, during a round table organized by the Economic Affairs Committee of the National embly. He also clarified that he never called for “call into question the threshold for resale at a loss», Contrary to what he seemed to have implied on France Inter last week.

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Sitting alongside him, his main retail counterparts took fewer gloves. “We won’t sell at a loss, because we can’t sell at a loss“, said Alexandre Bompard, CEO of Carrefour, calling for “don’t open this can of worms“. “We are not going to use this possibility, because otherwise we would have to increase the price of pasta. We’re not crazy», justified Thierry Cotillard, the boss of the Les Mousquetaires group (Intermarché). Philippe Michaud, co-president of Leclerc, for his part estimated that “our companies are not made to sell at a loss“.

During the same round table, Alexandre Bompard also insisted on the fact that Carrefour would continue to “carry out operations at cost“. A technique, intended to win over or retain customers, frequently used in all major retail brands, even more so since the surge in inflation last year. And which should further multiply thanks to the surge in oil prices. Without the real impact on prices at the pump being really notable. As part of these operations, the prices paid by motorists only drop by a few cents per liter. Hence Elisabeth Borne’s loss-making proposal, intended to further reduce prices. Faced with the refusal of distributors, however, this project seems to have already been born stillborn.

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