The first Champion supermarket is inaugurated by the Norman group Promodès in 1969 in Bayeux. Champion develops gradually in Normandy, in North, in Paris area, then in South-east. With the end of 1970, Champion counts 43 supermarkets.
In 1994, Champion creates a variation of its ensign - Hyper Champion - for its largest stores (of which surface goes between 2500 and 5000 m²). This format is thus hybrid, in between the supermarket and the hypermarket. Champion enters the bosom of Carrefour following the fusion with Promodès in 1999. Carrefour makes the choice to preserve the ensign Champion at the detriment of the ensign Stoc, taken over from the
, considered to be less evocative and less instigating.
Champion is defined as "a food discount, qualitative and advantageous supermarket looking with its professionalism, at the satisfaction and the development of consumer loyalty of the customer". Like other signs of supermarkets, Champion privileges the fresh products and establishes them at the entrance of its stores.
In terms of assortments, Champion proposes several types of products apart from the national brand names and the first prices, namely the products with the brand name Champion (1 100 references), as well as the references Champion Bio, Reflets de France (320 products of the soil manufactured by French SME), Destinations Saveurs (foreign products), these two last ranges being also present within the Carrefour hypermarkets. The signature of Champion, "a customer is sacred" (taken over from Stoc), determines a marketing policy centred on the comfort of purchase whose strong points are a convivial reception, adapted schedules to the ways of life, the requirement for quality of service and product. The Iris card, which constitutes the first programme of development of consumer loyalty in the universe of the supermarkets in France (held by 5,5 million families), constitutes a fundamental marketing goal of the ensign. The ensign launched into 2002 the goods of purchase "Ticket +" Champion, which cumulates points automatically on the discount Iris card. This policy of development of consumer loyalty is helped by the magazine "Iris mag" and the magazine "Food Champion", drawn to 2,3 million specimens. Lastly, the image of Champion is closely associated to the
Tour de France
(Turn around in France). Champion is the sponsor shirt of the best climbing racer.
Champion is the 2nd sign of supermarkets in France, after Intermarché. With 968 supermarkets and 44 hypermarkets distributed on the whole French territory,
1500 000 m² (either an average surface from approximately 1 500 m²) and 7 200 000 weekly customers, Champion carries out a sales turnover in France of 12 billion euro including all taxes (integrated and franchised) for 60 000 paid, including 30 000 paid franchised and partners.
In France, 55 % of the Champion stores are integrated and 45 % of frankness (in particular with the regional groups Guyenne and Gascogne or Provencia). With 1400 stores in foreign countries, Champion developed his presence in Europe (Belgium, Spain, Poland, Greece, Italy, Turkey), in South America (Argentina, Brazil) and all lately in China (April 2004). On the international scale, the word "Champion" is carrying out a sense in all these countries of establishment, which uses this policy as international development. In 2002, Champion launched an electronic trade with cybermarket Championdirect.fr; this website, based on a system of picking up in a convenience store (delivery of the goods in the store, in opposition to the delivery in warehouses), closed its doors in December 2003, fault of profitability.
With 1 018 integrated stores whose 584 and 434 franchised, Champion is the 2nd ensign of supermarkets in France. The sales turnover in 2004, rises to 13,2 billion euro (fuel sales included). The company counts 60 000 collaborators including
33 000 employers from the integrated stores.