The National Assembly examines negotiations between large manufacturers and supermarkets

Every year, they turn into a rat race. Commercial negotiations between large manufacturers and supermarkets allow, after several weeks of tough discussions, to set the conditions (purchase price, shelf space, promotional calendar, etc.) to which E.Leclerc, Carrefour, Intermarché or Système U will go. ‘supply for the whole year from their suppliers.

From Monday, the National Assembly is examining a bill to advance them in order to lower shelf prices but with an unguaranteed result, even if inflation slows. The government intends to bring forward to January 15, instead of March 1, the date on which negotiations for 2024 must be concluded.

Major subject for the government

By mid-2022, the government had pressed all companies to renegotiate upwards during the year to better remunerate manufacturers faced with rising costs. In 2023, this time he intervened to request the downward pass-through of a certain number of wholesale prices, without this resulting in significant price reductions on the shelves. Hence the desire to bring the 2024 calendar forward by a month and a half, in the hope of seeing lower prices on the shelves more quickly.

Even for a one-off change of calendar, it is necessary to go through the law because the usual deadline appears in the Commercial Code. The government had announced that it only wanted to bring forward the timetable for the 75 largest manufacturers.

Towards a price increase?

However, Ilec, which carries the voice of these giants in France, has already warned that the outcome of the negotiations would be “contrasting”, certain wholesale markets continuing “to increase”, explained its general director Richard Panquiault at the end of September, on RMC . The leader in food distribution E.Leclerc had only received requests on Thursday for sales conditions “upwards, for some by 15%” from their suppliers, its media representative, Michel-Edouard Leclerc, added on Thursday. , on BFMTV/RMC.

This creates “concern” among Thierry Cotillard, head of the Intermarché/Les Mousquetaires group, about the ability of distributors to “obtain deflation”. He even mentioned the possibility of a price increase “between zero and four” percent on Sunday in the Grand Jury RTL-Le Figaro-M6 show, which would be the opposite of the intent of the bill.

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