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.
"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."