Promotional communication for supermarkets

ARISTID alongside retailers to digitalize promotions!

ARISTID is a trusted partner of leading French grocery retailers, empowering them to leverage their comprehensive product data to design a multitude of targeted promotions. Our automation solutions enable the dissemination of personalized promotional offers from large-scale retail chains, such as hypermarkets and supermarkets.

What’s driving promotional revolution?

Are all retailers embracing a zero-prospectus strategy?

• Paper pulp prices have doubled between 2021 and 2022
• The government OUI PUB program, which restricts access to mailboxes
• Food inflation, putting the issue of promotions back at the forefront of French consumers’ minds
• Retailers who have transformed their processes to better exploit their data

Reducing promotional waste : How large retailers organizing?

French retailers face the “Oui pub” program

CARREFOUR : Tests and accelerated transition

Carrefour is a major player in promotional communication, with over 100 national campaigns per year and 20 million copies distributed each week in France. What transition strategy is this heavyweight adopting?

In late 2021, Alexandre Bompard announced a target of increasing the digital media mix from 8% in 2018 to 50% in 2022. This was followed by a series of tests. In January 2022, Carrefour stopped distributing flyers in Paris, Lyon (Rhône), and Villeurbanne. The company’s initial learnings: 95% of customers do not choose an alternative to receive promotions. Turnover is maintained in 3 out of 4 stores. The issue of contactability will therefore be at the heart of the debate… it is essential to maintain “reach”!

Observing these three types of stores enabled the company to prepare its “zero waste challenge” plan, which guides customers towards 4 media choices (email/SMS/WhatsApp/mailbox) to receive their promotions. Despite this transitional communication, the number of people exposed to digital is still much lower than those with a mailbox… Especially since the company does not have the emails of all its customers and prospects, and the opening rate of an email is relatively low (around 30% and a click-through rate of around 3%).

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Carrefour catalog


The company’s objective is very clear: a 40% fewer in 2023 without reducing our promotional turnover and 80% digital flyers by 2024. 300 Carrefour stores will be “zero flyer” by July 2023, announced Frédéric Preslot, Carrefour’s operational marketing director, in January.

E.LECLERC : Announcement made in 2010 for 2020… it will be for 2023

Leclerc was way ahead of the curve on this issue, dropping the bombshell “Zero Flyers by 2020” back in 2010! This announcement caused an uproar among printers…

In 2021, the “Lucon” hypermarket launched the initiative and stopped distributing its 1.8 million copies per year. Results: +5% with the same promotional turnover… In September 2022, 8 Vendée hypermarkets followed suit. In December 2022, E-Leclerc announced the complete cessation of flyer distribution from September 2023.

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Leclerc catalog


What about the wine fair?

E.Leclerc will not be distributing flyers for its Spring 2024 Wine Fair. Enthusiasts will be able to find catalogs in-store and online, but not in their mailboxes. E.Leclerc has not yet decided if flyers will be sent to its customer base.

According to spokesperson Michel-Edouard Leclerc, this decision should save 549,300 tons of paper per year, or 8 times the weight of the Eiffel Tower.

Watch Michel Edouard Leclerc’s announcement on video


INTERMARCHÉ : a smoother transition in line with the brand’s customer base

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Intermarché catalog


A momentum from the East… In 2022, 48 out of the 152 points of sale in the east region announced that they would stop distributing promotional offers in mailboxes. In January 2023, there are 240 “zero flyer” stores, representing 1 in 8 stores, and a 50% less paper in 2023 (-30,000 tons). The started goal is that 80% of Intermarché stores will mix their media investments between paper and digital, compared to 50% in 2022. Intermarché is focusing on in-store promotional activation and digital drive-to-store devices to drive to its 1,800 stores.


“Intermarché wanted to send more targeted offers to its customers, without losing creative capacity with increasingly personalized content,” says Florian Payri, Deputy CEO of ARISTID.


ARISTID supports Intermarché and produces all of the brand’s promotional materials, from its e-catalog reader to the provision of local communication via a dedicated platform. This is a whole technological ecosystem that Les Mousquetaires has at its disposal!

SYSTEME U : the territory brand is going against the grain and maintaining paper to give its customers choice

In 2015, we were the first chain to use paper from sustainably managed forests. We have banned harmful elements that alter recycling, in favor of “white” inks.

Today, we only work with certified printers. Properly sorted, paper can be recycled up to five times! Statement by Dominique Schelcher, President of the Système U cooperative.

The brand, with the most rural network, is convinced that the transition from paper to digital will take time and does not want to rush its customers, especially during a period of strong pressure on purchasing power. “60% of our customers still love our flyers!” says Dominique Schelcher.
In 2023, mailbox distribution is still down by -30%, but this mainly concerns stores located in urban areas.

See the full interview with Dominique Schelcher on LSA 


Source : LSA

Système U also relies on the technological tools deployed by ARISTID for its commercial communication. Not rushing its customers does not mean not structuring its offer data and orienting its processes for more digital agility!

LIDL the champion of publicity overinvestment will take advantage of this!

For LIDL France, having free mailbox is a blessing, no announcement of a reduction in distribution! In 2021, 1 in 2 French people would have been a LIDL catalog reader.

ALDI in the midst of the store park expansion, the brand cannot disconnect the flyer…

“We need it to show our Everyday Low Price model and our promotions. The catalog also has an educational purpose to present our offer, which is 90% own-brand” explains Anne-Marie Gaultier, Marketing and Communication Director.

CORA has doubled the others in the media battle… at what cost?

Following the lockdown, the brand leaves some areas disconnected from the flyer to check the impact v/s similar areas and carries out A/B tests on digital campaigns. This involves 7 hypermarkets test over one year… On the strength of this experimentation, at the end of 2022 the brand becomes the first to announce a total stop to mailbox distribution. It remains to be seen whether the brand, which does not have the media power of an E.Leclerc or the digital organization of a Carrefour, will be able to hit hard enough locally to counter its competitors and maintain its traffic.

AUCHAN : a well-engaged transition

Auchan is betting on maintaining its contactability through messaging or local communication. Alcméon and Bonial are activating this transition with the support of store teams to convert customers to digital promotions!

Between March and May 2021, over 1.5 million Auchan flyers were consulted by the Bonial audience with an average consultation time of 1 minute 40 seconds. The retailer is capitalizing on this engagement to generate more in-store traffic.


According to LSA, 28.5% of catalog and flyer readers went to an Auchan store within 7 days of consulting a catalog on Bonial.

CASINO : a timid… or postponed… passage to digital… 

For the CASINO brand, if Zero flyer targets had indeed been announced… it will be necessary to wait a little longer before seeing more clearly about the brand’s promotional strategy…

MONOPRIX in urban areas it’s forcibly more probable…

It was in 2019 that Monoprix announced the end of mailbox flyers for its 30 million units per year. Flyers represented 10 to 15% of the brand’s marketing budget, even though 90% of flyers are thrown away before they are even being read… if they even make it to the mailbox, which is a real challenge in city centers. The catchment area is indeed a determining criterion in the success of “zero flyer”!

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