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How do Leclerc, Auchan, Carrefour, and others like Casino redistribute the household consumption? Why do we count somuch hypermarkets in France? Where does this passion come from? Numbers, chronology and interview on a society phenomenon. (December 2004).
1931- 2004: Key-dates of an irresistible rise. Since the first Prisunic supermarket in Paris to the hypermarkets on line, the saga of the distribution in 20 key dates.From the first self-service supermarket to the launching of cybermarket on Internet, discover the hypermarkets saga in France (December 2004).

1931 Creation of the first Prisunic supermarket, pertaining (belonging) to the Department stores of Printemps.

1949 Edouard Leclerc opens his first store at discount price in Landerneau in Finistere. It is not yet a self-service.

1957 Casino innovates the self-service in Nice under the sign Nica.

1957 on June 3rd, the first Carrefour supermarket is opened in Annecy. The store is a fulgurating success. The same year is launched the first service station under the sign of a hypermarket.

1961 Gérard Mulliez opens the first supermarket called Auchan in Roubaix

1963 Opening of the first hypermarket by Carrefour in Sainte-Geneviève-des-Bois, in the south of Paris. The store is more than 2 600 m2.

1967 Opening of the first cafeteria Casino. in Saint-Etienne.

1969 Scission of 75 Leclerc members, who will found the Intermarket chain

1970 Louis Delhaize opens in Belgium the first Cora hypermarket.

1973 Carrefour opens its first hypermarket in a foreign country (in Barcelona). The Royer law is voted same year, which submits any construction of big surfaces to authorization of the public authorities. This law is intended to protect small trade.

1977 Creation of the bar-code on the cashiers.

1985 Appearance of the first sign names. Télémarket is created the same year, the first supermarket in residence.

1989 Opening of the first hypermarket Carrefour in Asia (Taiwan).

1993 Appearance of the first flowers stands in hypermarkets.

1995 Leclerc removes the plastic bags from the cashiers to protect the environment. Today, no other sign ever did the same.

1996 Auchan fusions with Docks de France (Mammouth signs and ATAC...) and double its size in France.

1998 Opening of the first automatic mini-market (a Small Casino 24) in Lyon

1999 Carrefour and Promodès, will form the first European group of distribution and the second world group.

2000 Launching of Houra.fr, the first supermarket on Internet called Cora. 2001 Carrefour repurchases to TotalFinaElf 17 motorway fuel stations: they are the first service stations with the colours of a hypermarket.

2004 Carrefour counts 216 hypermarkets in France and 56 stores in China.

The results of a typically French phenomenon. France is one of the only countries in the world to have as many hypermarkets per capita. Nowadays, everyone took the habit to go shop in one of those big department stores, where we can find everything.

1291 stores in France. France is today the world champion of the hypermarkets: 1291 stores with various signs are distributed through the country. A hypermarket must have a surface of sale equal or higher than 2500 m2 (400 m2 to 2500 m2 for a supermarket), and an offer of products of 20 000 to 35 000 references. It is established in suburbs, and has an average of 1000 parking places.
To see related heading:

Large French distribution, portrait of the principal signs.

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