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  • Martine Fuxa

Les Mousquetaires Group's 5 Challenges of Hercules

On 26 October, at the Jeudis de la Tech, a meeting organised by Retail Tech to discuss the major issues involved in transforming retail, Stéphane Sinopoli, one of the group's earliest members and owner of 3 Intermarché shops, spoke about the major projects ahead for the Les Mousquetaires group. A roadmap in five stages.

Stéphane Sinopoli, who stepped in at short notice to replace Thierry Cotillard, Chairman of Société Les Mousquetaires (SLM), spoke about the group's ambitions in the current climate. The network of independent retailers has 3,000 entrepreneurs and 150,000 employees, and represents some 4,000 sales outlets under a variety of banners: food with the Intermarché and Netto banners, home furnishings with Bricomarché, Bricorama and Brico Cash, and mobility with Roady and Rapid Pare-Brise.

The group also presents itself as one of the largest manufacturers in France, "we are the fourth largest French manufacturer, rivalling Lactalis or Nestlé, with our 56 production plants in 6 sectors", stresses Stéphane Sinopoli, recently appointed head of data development for the Mousquetaires group.

Faced with the many economic challenges, SLM, the group's holding company, of which Thierry Cotillard is Chairman, has drawn up a roadmap to meet 5 major challenges, as detailed by Stéphane Sinopoli.

The five main challenges

The first challenge "is to always remain discount, which is what makes independent retailers so successful". Fighting on price in your trading area remains a key challenge. The second and third challenges are to strengthen the brand's digital and omnichannel culture. "We are going to continue to develop our e-commerce sales, thanks in particular to our own production thanks to the 56 factories that generate almost 4 billion in sales", explains Stéphane Sinopoli.

Better production for better food: the brand's new motto is based on solid production assets and a powerful "agro-mosquetaire" army, as Stéphane Sinopoli explains.

Challenge number 4 is to make Les Mousquetaires' CSR commitments an integral part of the Group's culture, with broad themes to work on, ranging from accelerating projects linked to the energy transition to improving working practices.

Finally, the fifth challenge outlined by Stéphane Sinopoli is to develop new alliances, not just in purchasing but also in data-related areas.

On this subject, Stéphane Sinopoli - who has just been appointed head of data enhancement for the Les Mousquetaires group - highlights the major work undertaken internally over the past two years. "Data is pretty much everywhere for us. It's important to identify it, understand how it works and qualify it. This subject is so vital, so important, so structuring for the future, because we will be able to monetise this data", he adds.

Potential for Casino shops takeover

Interviewed by Mike Hadjadj, Stéphane Sinopoli also spoke about the transformation of the sixty or so Casino shops bought by the Intermarché Group. These shops had fallen sharply in terms of sales per linear square metre, dropping below the €3,000 mark. The owner of 3 Intermarché shops stresses that "when you redesign shops, make them more attractive and enhance the shopping experience, the results follow", while expressing his positive surprise at the rapid performance of the Casino shops that came under the Intermarché banner. Transformed in record time, around 2 weeks, the 60 or so shops saw their entire assortments reworked and their outlets completely renovated... "It was all hands on deck. I love these periods, because it creates cohesion between us all", concludes Stéphane Sinopoli.

Finally, in terms of innovation, the Group is promising announcements in the near future on the use of artificial intelligence, which is currently being tested within the banners.

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