A new law decrees French supermarkets must get greedier

GIVEN THAT five supermarket chains control around 80% of all organised food retailing in France, the authorities there may seem justified in probing how competitive the market really is. Too competitive, apparently: on February 1st a new law forced retailers to raise prices of food staples lest consumers be unduly profiting from shops trying to lure them with good deals.

The aim of the new “Loi Alimentation” is to ensure better pay for French farmers and for small-scale food producers, who currently earn little. Its flagship measure aims to stymie price wars by ensuring no food can be sold with less than a 10% profit margin. But the immediate impact is not to raise prices of vegetables, meat and other products sold by French farmers to supermarkets: margins on those are already far higher than the mandated floor. Rather, newspapers have been full of horror stories about the rocketing price of pastis, a boozy staple (up by 9.9% in...

via Business Feeds

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