French retailer Système U has joined the Epic Partners buying group established by Germany's Edeka and others, according to reports.
Trade magazine LSA reported the news following the issuing of an internal memo issued by Système U chairman Dominique Schelcher.
Other members of Epic Partners include Swiss retailer Migros, Poland's Biedronka, Jerónimo Martins, ICA Sweden and Russian retailer Magnit.
It was formed following Edeka's departure from the AgeCore buying group. Gianluigi Ferrari, the former head of AgeCore, now heads up the Epic Partners group.
The news is welcome for Système U, which found itself without a purchasing partner earlier this year after Carrrefour called a halt to the Envergure buying agreement that the retailers established in 2019.
Carrefour is undergoing a restructuring of its purchasing operations, establishing a purchasing centre that will negotiate on behalf of the different markets in which the group operates: France, Belgium, Spain, Italy, Poland and Romania.
Last week, Dominique Schelcher told the French news portal Capital that the retailer is seeing shifts in consumer behaviour as inflationary measures start to bite.
"Since the end of the summer, behaviours have changed," he said. "Our customers are no longer content to make trade-offs – giving up fish, cut cheese, etc. – they simply buy less."
© 2022 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Stephen Wynne-Jones. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: European Supermarket Magazine.