Either the Mulliez decide to let go of Auchan and manage the company's decline, or they reinvest powerfully and join forces with someone." This is how a competitor of the northern distributor summed up, a few weeks ago, the dilemma faced by the family that owns Auchan, but also Leroy-Merlin, Decathlon, Boulanger and Kiabi. The Mulliez Family Association (AFM) has chosen the second option to try to save its flagship brand, founded by Gérard Mulliez in 1961.
A precursor, along with Carrefour, of the rise of hypermarkets in the 1960s and 1970s, Auchan has been accumulating handicaps for the past ten years. Hypermarkets are less successful, especially the largest of them, of which Auchan is the specialist. While most retailers have diversified their formats and focused on proximity, Auchan remains highly dependent on its very large stores: its hypermarkets account for 80% of its turnover.
As a result, its overall sales are eroding...
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