For the past few days, if you have been doing your shopping at Carrefour, you may have noticed the labels stuck by the brand on certain products to denounce “shrinkflation”. This barbaric and unpronounceable Anglicism has invaded the media and political space. It designates a practice, presented as new, which consists of reducing the quantity of products sold in a package without lowering its price, or even increasing it. This weighs on household budgets.
When we listen to the general manager of this mass distribution giant denounce this practice in the name of consumer interests, we wonder if it is not “the hospital that makes fun of charity”. Alexandre Bompard knows very well that the selling price charged results from fierce annual negotiations between manufacturers and distributors. The first threaten to no longer provide their products and the second to “delist” them. Everyone also knows that manufacturers have been using this somewhat sneaky process for a long time, without distributors seeing any problem with it, as long as their interests are preserved.
Bruno Le Maire mentioned a provision in a legislative text which could be presented in October. The Minister of the Economy cannot, however, ignore that the announcement of a law on this issue would be an illusion, inapplicable and/or immediately circumvented by companies.
To be effective, Carrefour could, however, move away from strictly financial logic. which led the managers of these companies to take advantage of inflation linked to geopolitical crises to increase their prices; and this, in order to reap additional profits. He could denounce this phenomenon and set an example of a more equitable distribution of the value created within his company, between managers and front-line employees. And the minister could immediately initiate structural reforms of the State which will generate savings allowing a reduction in the compulsory levy rate, automatically creating additional purchasing power.