With the launch of its 'PromoLibre' programme, the French grocery chain Carrefour says it aims to reinvent the concept of in-store promotions, by allowing customers themselves to choose which products they would like discounts on.
Carrefour describes its latest innovation as "a way of taking a proactive approach to prices" which it hopes will help it become French consumers' favourite store by providing them with a new level of purchasing power and freedom.
PromoLibre is a permanent promotions scheme in which customers make 100% of the decisions. It is no longer only Carrefour that decides which products are promoted with special prices, as customers are empowered to decide which products they would like to buy at special prices, depending on their desires, needs ad budgets.
Every week, Carrefour offers its customers the chance to select their own PromoLibre products from the many departments carrying the PromoLibre label. This offer applies to all products (both national and retailer brands) within predefined product lines that are refreshed every week. For example:
- For grocery items, customers can choose their three favourite products from the PromoLibre line, and the lowest priced of these will be refunded. If the customer buys six items, the store will refund the two lowest priced products, and so on. The refund is then automatically credited to their loyalty account.
- For non-grocery items, however, the system is slightly different: customers can chose items from the PromoLibre selection to receive a 20% rebate instead. The discount is also credited to the customer's loyalty account.
Carrefour launched PromoLibre starting with the its Breakfast (650 products) and Small Home Appliances departments from 23rd to 28th February 2010 and, from 1st to 8th March, customers can choose PromoLibre products from the Personal Care (2,900 products) and Large Home Appliances departments.
PromoLibre is available in all Carrefour hypermarkets, Carrefour Market supermarkets, and Carrefour City and Contact convenience stores, representing some 1,200 points of sale throughout France.
According to Carrefour, a survey carried out by IFOP in January 2010 found that 41% of French consumers feel that retail promotions do not relate to their needs, but that 95% were in favour of being able to choose promotional products themselves.