The sale of Casino’s Leader Price brand to Aldi is reportedly near to a close. Rumours of the sale were confirmed by Casino last year which said they were in exclusive negotiations with Aldi to sell Leader Price.
The group has been following an active approach of selling loss-making stores across all its formats and has already sold 20 Leader Price units to Lidl.
“The Casino group is experiencing difficulties at the moment and in August announced a plan to sell assets of €2 billion. It wants to focus on e-commerce, premium and proximity, essentially its Cdiscount, Monoprix and Franprix brands. Casino acquired Leader Price in 1997 and it currently has 700 stores operating in France. It has followed a similar strategy to its German rivals, Aldi and Lidl, transitioning from a hard discount model to a soft discounter, renovating stores and expanding its offer to include national brands. However it has not worked for Leader Price, and Casino has been disposing of stores, and as we now know, looking for a buyer. As we discuss in our recent report Supermarkets - France, November 2019, Aldi has been on the back footing to Lidl in France, with a market share (of specialist retailers’ sales) of only 1.6% compared to Lidl’s 5% in 2018. If the sale goes ahead Aldi would grow its store base to around 1,600, on a par with Lidl, which currently has 1,500 stores. Note however that the deal still remains unconfirmed by the two companies, and any deal will be subject to approval from the French Competition Authority.”