Gasoline at cost: big brands try to get the driver

The chance makes the thief: in full carpets of motorists against the rising prices at the pump, the giants of the supermarket distinguish themselves from their drawer promotions the famous "fuel at cost price". While the liter of diesel has reached a record level of on average more than 1.51 euros in French stations, now higher than that of petrol (1.49 euros for super lead-free 95 E-10) according to the site Government of reference, Carrefour and Leclerc, imitated by their competitors Intermarché and Auchan, competing since the beginning of the week of promises of saving on fuel full. These are the "Fuel Days" at cost price until November 17 in Carrefour (the date is no coincidence, it is the national block against rising fuel); the operation "No fuel margin in November" at Leclerc; or a voucher of 5 euros in the shop on a cart with a minimum of 50 euros for every purchase of gasoline or diesel at Casino …

Never behind a coup de com, Michel-Edouard Leclerc summarized the maneuver demo hypers Tuesday morning at France-Info: "The one who stimulates growth is the consumer" so for him this grumbling of motorists against the "ecological" taxation of fuels taken over by the executive "Is legitimate", and "You have to know where to be." But no matter how opportunistic they are, these wonderful promises of savings at the pump clearly speak to the French portfolio, which, regardless of what the government says, feel that their purchasing power is melting like the ice floe in Greenland under the effect of the greenhouse effect . However, if you look closer, the profit is not really up to the expectations of motorists: if the liter of fuel costs on average 10 cents less of hyperkosten than a standard station, you save no more than 2 cents on the liter at cost price. .. which, for regulars, brings the profit to 1 small euro for 50 liters of fuel!

The string is big

What to wonder if the game is really worth it: the modest earned profit can fly with illico smoke exhaust if the driver accidentally lets his engine run while he waits for his turn (which we remember) is not a good thing for the temperature of the planet and the quality of the air we breathe). Particularly because some oil companies recently also offered their fuel at low prices, such as Total, which competes with its network of Total Access stations.

For the hypers, the effort in favor of the purchasing power of the French promises to be more limited, because their margin on fuel is very low: at cost price it only falls to one cent per liter … this is where the more or less open goal of these "fuel-cost-fuel" operations appears: to turn petrol into a simple product of appeal to drive the motorist to the checkout of his stores with a well-filled shopping cart. Casino does not hide it with its discount coupons at the pump. And the same giants of the big retail now refuse this catch-consumer process in other sectors: Leclerc and Casino have just launched offers of electricity at a broken price … but offer the discount compared to EDF rates in the form vouchers in their stores. The string is very big, but the shot of the foxes of the supermarket on the fuel at cost price has already achieved its goal. The proof, drivers who pass on their fuel budget for possible climate debt, are queuing at the pump.

Jean-Christophe Féraud