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ISSN : 2233-4165(Print)
ISSN : 2233-5382(Online)
Journal of Industrial Distribution & Business Vol.3 No.1 pp.7-16

A study on the Regulatory Environment of the French Distribution Industry and the Intermarche's Management strategies

In-Sik Choi*, Sang-Youn Lee**

*Gaudi Content Development Institute, Korea. E-mail:
**Professor, Department of Business Management, Sejong University, Korea.

Received: January 17, 2012. Revised: May 25, 2012. Accepted: June 18, 2012


Despite the enforcement of SSM control laws such as 'the Law ofDeveloping the Distribution Industry (LDDI)‘ and ‘the Law ofPromoting Mutual Cooperation between Large and Small/mediumEnterprises (LPMC)’ stipulating the business adjustment system, thenumber of super-supermarkets (SSMs) has ever been expanding inKorea. In France, however, Super Centers are being regulated moststrongly and directly in the whole Europe viewing that there is not asingle SSM in Paris, which is emphasized to be the outcome fromFrench government's regulation exerted on the opening of large scaleretail stores. In France, the authority to approve store opening isdeeply centralized and the store opening regulation is asocio-economic regulation driven by economic laws whereas EUstrongly regulates the distribution industry.
To control the French distribution industry, such seven laws andregulations as Commission départementale d'urbanisme commercialguidelines (CDLIC) (1969), the Royer Law (1973), the Doubin Law(1990), the Sapin Law (1993), the Raffarin Law (1996), solidarite etrenouvellement urbains (SRU) (2000), and Loi de modernisation del'économie (LME) (2009) have been promulgated one by one sincethe amendment of the Fontanet guidelines, through which commercialadjustment laws and regulations have been complemented andreinforced while regulatory measures have been taken. Even in thecourse of forming such strong regulatory laws, InterMarche, thelargest supermarket chain in France, has been in existence as a globalenterprise specialized in retail distribution with over 4,000 stores inEurope. InterMarche's business can be divided largely into twosegments of food and non-food. As a supermarket chain,InterMarche's food segment has 2,300 stores in Europe and as ahard-discounter store chain in France, Netto has 420 stores.Restaumarch is a chain of traditional family restaurants and thesteak house restaurant chain of Poivre Rouge has 4 restaurantscurrently. In addition, there are others like Ecomarche which is asupermarket chain for small and medium cities. In the non-foodsegment, the DIY and gardening chain of Bricomarche has a total of620 stores in Europe. And the car-related chain of Roady has a totalof 158 stores in Europe. There is the clothing chain of Veti as well. In view of InterMarche's management strategies, since its distributionstrategy is to sell goods at cheap prices, buying goods cheap only isnot enough. In other words, in order to sell goods cheap, it is allimportant to buy goods cheap, manage them cheap, systemize themcheap, and transport them cheap. In quality assurance, InterMarchehas guaranteed the purchase safety for consumers by providing itsown private brand products. InterMarche has 90 private brands of itsown, thus being the retailer with the largest number of distributorbrands in France. In view of its IT service strategy, InterMarche isutilizing a high performance IT system so as to obtainas much of themarket information as possible and also to find out the best locationsfor opening stores. In its global expansion strategy of internationalalliance, InterMarche has established the ALDIS group together withthe distribution enterprises of both Spain and Germany in order toexpand its food purchase, whereas in the non-food segment, it hasestablished the ARENA group in alliance with 11 internationaldistribution enterprises.
Such strategies of InterMarche have been intended to find out theconsumer needs for both price and quality of goods and to securethe purchase and supply networks which are closely localized. It isnecessary to cope promptly with the constantly changingcircumstances through being unified with relevant regions and byproviding diversified customer services as well.
In view of the InterMarche's positive policy for promoting localpartnerships as well as the assistance for enhancing the localeconomic structure, implications are existing for those retaildistributors of our country.

JEL Classifications : D40, L53, L81.



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