In the space of a few years, discount bazaars have taken over the shopping areas bordering large and medium-sized cities in France. Action, Gifi, NOZ, Stokomani, B

If this simple and playful name probably does not mean much to the French, it is nevertheless well known across the Rhine, where TEDi is one of the largest retailers in the discount market. Created in Dortmund by the distribution giant Tengelmann (Obi, Kik…), the brand has nearly 2,700 stores in Germany and several hundred branches in ten other European countries. The strength of TEDi: to offer thousands of items (hygiene, decoration, DIY, toys…), at only one euro. A “one dollar store” with German sauce, therefore. On the shelves, the products, mostly Made in Asia, change at full speed, just to keep buyers in suspense.

If TEDi intends to conquer the French market Рa dozen additional openings are planned by the company by 2024 in the west and north of France Рit will have to deal with serious competitors. Starting with Action, voted third favorite brand of the French in 2022 by the EY Parth̩non study. With ten years of activity in France and more than 700 stores spread across the country, the Dutch chain currently dominates the French discount market.

But the cake could turn out to be hearty enough to satisfy everyone’s appetites. Discounters, whose cumulative base has more than doubled in ten years, are the big winners from the polarization of consumption, also known as the “hourglass effect”: at the top, a marked trend towards premiumization, at the bottom, a frantic race for low prices. At a time when inflation is forcing many French people to make new choices, the bottom of the hourglass is doing well, uniting well beyond the working classes.

If the discounters are not likely to run out of customers, they could on the other hand run out of goods. Like Action, TEDi offers both products from its own sourcing and clearance items. It is this last type of commodity that the actors fight over bitterly. With the proliferation of low-cost bazaars, retailers are seeing their shopping opportunities dwindle. The pioneer of French destocking stores NOZ has already paid the price, supply difficulties forcing it to lower the curtain of around thirty of its stores in France last year.

Competition is all the tougher in that it is not played out on the scale of a few countries, but on that of Europe as a whole. In 2018, British discounter B