Mega News – Nutella Specials: Is It Legal?

VIDEO – Fifty Leclerc stores have been offering 80% reductions on some of their products since Wednesday. If resale at a loss is prohibited in France, the distributor takes advantage of a legal vacuum to carry out this commercial operation.

Are new crowd movements to be expected? From this Wednesday, until November 24, some Leclerc stores have been offering 80% reductions on certain items and in particular on 975g jars of the famous Italian chocolate-hazelnut spread. A feeling of déjà vu? Last January, significant discounts on this product in Intermarché stores, which had caused clashes between customers, had earned the brand to be pinned.

Leclerc promotion brochure. Leclerc

Called “The Winning Ticket”, Leclerc’s promotional offers concern around fifteen products sold in supermarkets and are intended for customers with a loyalty card. For example, coffee capsules are sold at 1.11 euros instead of 5.54 euros, laundry at 2.81 euros instead of 14.05 euros … and jars of Nutella at 0.97 cent instead of 4.85 euros. Displayed in some fifty Leclerc centers in northern France, the discounts, which are granted in the form of vouchers, risk attracting even more people as the number of products concerned is limited. For example, jars of Nutella are sold at 79,454 units, and each customer can only buy three, which amounts to paying 2.91 euros for nearly three kilos of dough.

Discounts in vouchers

If it is attractive, the promotion of Leclerc is at first glance illegal. It is in fact forbidden to, that is to say below its actual purchase price. But where Intermarché was condemned last February, the discounts applied today by Leclerc are different. Concretely, after having paid at cost price at the cash desk, the customer is given vouchers at the cash desk for an amount equivalent to the value of the reduction announced. In other words, buy a 4.85 euro jar of Nutella in the Leclerc store in Sedan for example, and receive in return a 3.88 euro voucher.

What does the law say on voucher discounts in this case? “There is a legal vagueness”, admits a lawyer specializing in specifying that “if Leclerc uses this technique, it is not by chance”. But what does the distributor gain with this strategy? “Such a promotion marks the spirits,” he said. “Leclerc knows full well that by coming for these promotions, customers will leave with shopping carts full of open items.” If the company were to be sued, it is possible that it takes the opportunity to challenge the law on resale at a loss, supposes the lawyer. Because this text voted in 2008 and entered into application in January 2009, which aims “to, is according to him” very questionable at the level of Community law “. A detail that “we know perfectly well in mass distribution” and that would “be regularly put back on the table”.

From January 1, 2019, will come into force which is in line with the General Food Summit of 2017. It provides, among other things, that the promotions made by the actors of the large distribution can no longer exceed 34% of the value of the products. However, nothing is said about the voucher technique currently used by Leclerc.

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