CFAO brings Carrefour’s Supeco banner to Côte d’Ivoire

CFAO, Carrefour’s West African franchisee, has brought the French retailer’s Supeco banner to Abidjan, opening a store in the working-class suburb of Yopougon. CFAO also operates three Carrefour outlets in Abidjan (two hypermarkets and a supermarket), all of which are located in shopping malls.

Supeco combines a relatively limited range of SKUs (around 2,000) and a high proportion of private label products with discounts for bulk purchases. Moreover, rather than being located in malls like other Carrefour stores in Abidjan, Supeco stores are typically found in stand-alone premises that are more accessible to local consumers. CFAO opened three Supeco outlets in the Senegalese capital of Dakar last year and is also planning to bring the banner to Cameroon in the near future.

According to Pascal Bordeaux, managing director of CFAO Retail in Côte d’Ivoire, “The Supeco brand marks a new stage in the deployment of CFAO Retail in Côte d’Ivoire. After PlaYce shopping centers, Carrefour hypermarkets, and Carrefour Market supermarkets, we are now able to provide our customers with a quality offer at the lowest prices. This market segment represents 60% of consumers.”

The Sagaci Retail View: Supeco is a key part of CFAO’s strategy to widen its appeal to West African consumers. This shift in strategy was first flagged during late 2018, when Jean-Christophe Brindeau, head of CFAO Retail, outlined his vision for its future in African grocery retail: “Hypermarkets and supermarkets are for the middle- and upper-class, which represent 15% of the population. But these groups are not growing quickly enough, so we had to develop a new format.”

This is a vision that other chains on the continent should be paying attention to – none more so than Majid Al Futtaim (Carrefour’s franchise in Egypt and East Africa), which remains wedded to orthodox, mall-based supermarkets and hypermarkets, even as it expands into such markets as Tanzania and Uganda.