In Paris, independent food shops doing better than supermarket chains

February 1, 2024

A recent survey on the evolution of commerce in Paris from the Urban City Agency APUR (Atelier Urbain Parisien) reveals a progression of individual retail shops while supermarkets and general food retailers see their presence stagnate

Paris has one of the densest number of shops and commercial outlets in the world according to the latest survey conducted by the APUR, the French capital’s urban development agency. Paris had 60,846 retail premises in 2023, a slight decrease of 1.4% over the previous survey from 2020. The APUR notes however that the number of shops is “holding steady after three difficult years”.

8,018 food shops in Paris

Food retail shops continued to progress, in particular specialised shops. The APUR notes an increase in the number of food shops (+4%). This represents 310 additional units for a total of 8,018 food retail premises. This is the highest figure in Paris since these surveys began 20 years ago.

In detail, the APUR counted 4,207 shops, generally independent, both specialised and “traditional French” shops that only sell a single range of everyday products, such as bakeries, butchers, fishmongers, etc… Another 1,600 specialist “niche” stores also sell just one type of product, but represent a smaller and less essential market. These include among others chocolate shops, ice cream parlours, and shops selling regional products.

In Paris, independent food shops doing better than supermarket chains
Individual retail food shops such as the fine grocery store “L’Epicier” are doing well in Paris (Photo: LC/Cleverdis)

According to the report, this increase reflects the desire of Parisians to be able to do their daily shopping close to home in small shops. In fact, of this number, only 31 new supermarkets have been opened. The APUR also notes an increase in the quantity of restaurants, particularly fast-food outlets. There were 189 cafes, bars and restaurants, up 1% from the last report.

A halt in the expansion of supermarkets in Paris

General food retailers are however experiencing much more limited expansion. The number of these retail premises increased only by 31 units between 2020 and 2023. This is mainly due to the development of specialised supermarkets (particularly the ones selling food products from foreign countries). Supermarket chains did not make any substantial gains. On the contrary, the APUR sees a halt in their expansion with a reshuffling of the cards within the three major food retail groups.

The “Casino” group, through a number of brands covering several customer segments, such as “Monoprix,” “Franprix,” and “Naturalia”, remains the largest player in the supermarket segment in Paris, with almost 550 shops, including 1 hypermarket Géant Casino, 58 Monoprix, 153 supermarkets and 310 mini-markets. Its market share in terms of sales area (54% in 2023), has fallen by 2 points over the past two and a half years despite the acquisition of several stores from the competition.

Casino biggest competitor is the Carrefour group, which has a 21% share market share in terms of sales area (approximately 118,000 m²) with 309 shops including 2 hypermarkets, 68 supermarkets, 172 mini-markets, and 67 small general food stores. The Carrefour group increased its market share with the acquisition of 30 “Bio C’Bon” stores in November 2020.

“Francap” is the third largest group of food stores n Paris. Its activity includes 162 shops, including 21 supermarkets, and 72 mini-markets under the “Coccinelle,” “G20,” and “Diagonal” brands. Its market share in terms of sales area is around 6%, broadly the same as in 2020.

There are then around fifteen retailers whose market share in terms of sales area varies from 5% to less than 1%. Some of these retailers, who have a strong presence in French regions, have only recently set up operations in Paris and are struggling to create a complete network of shops. The “E.Leclerc” group, for example, the largest in France, only has 2 shops in Paris. The “Mousquetaires-Intermarché” group, 3rd in France, has just 21 shops. Finally, the Auchan group, 5th in France, has only 34 shops in Paris.

The German discount chain Aldi has expanded significantly since 2020, when it had just one shop. By 2023, it had 19 stores. It is catching up with its rival “Lidl,” which was established in the early 2000s and now has 20 shops.

Join us at SIAL Paris as exhibitor Join us at SIAL Paris as visitor