A year of crisis: Retailers’ initiatives to cope with the purchasing power drop

A year after war in Ukraine, grocery retailers are facing a generalised range of cost inflation for energy and also products. What strategies must be adopted to face this unprecedented crisis of purchasing power, which is likely to last? Between price freezes, adaptation of sales offers and loyalty programs oriented towards purchasing power, what are the new commercial models emerging in the retail sector? How can they build consumer loyalty in this period of increased volatility?
Through Sophie Baqué. Published on 13 March 2023 à 10h09 - Update on 13 March 2023 à 16h29

The context

A steady and unprecedented price uplift

In Europe, price increases are continuing at a steady pace and reaching record levels. This increase is unprecedented, because it is both across all products categories and also multifactorial (after the escalation cost of shipping containers, there was increased packaging, components and energy). Whilst grocery retailers initially chose a “wait-and-see” attitude in the first half of 2022, each wanting to be the last to pass on the cost increases to consumers, things changed after six months. Depending on a degree of independence (integrated or independent group), retailers are now passing on price increases from suppliers, radically and swiftly. In France, E.Leclerc (the largest retailer with a 22.2% market share in P12 2022) is taking advantage of a leadership position to delay price increases and pass them on, after all competitors. In February 2023, the gap between the two most expensive French food retailers and the two least expensive exceeded 30%. This is an historical record for more than 15 years (source IRI). 

However, this price increase must be put into perspective. While 70 years ago, food spending accounted for more than 40% of the European household budget, it accounted for only 13% in the EU 27 in 2019, according to Allianz Trade. There are also significant local : this share of spending reaches 16.4% in Poland,…

This article is for subscribers only
Already have an account? Log in

You are not registered yet ?

Sign up for a free trial
free for 1 month

  • Online services : studies, analyses, databases and much more
  • Daily Briefing : latest news digest
  • Weekly letters