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Retailing: a new player with a unique model is setting up shop in France


Despite a strong trend towards concentration, the retail sector is still a magnet for new companies. A new retail brand with a unique positioning and model is due to open in France in September. Experts at AURIS Finance, a mergers and acquisitions consultancy, take a closer look.

For the time being, the name is not final. But what might end up being called “Tazita” is set to shake up a retail market that is already undergoing major changes in France. Founded by Fabrice Gerber, formerly of Leclerc, Système U, and Aldi, the group aims to open 240 food shops and 60 non-food shops in France by 2027, with a turnover target of €2 billion, or €6.5 million per shop, within 5 years. Tazita intends to concentrate on medium-sized towns, locating its shops on the outskirts of towns with between 8,000 and 12,000 inhabitants. The group’s focus will initially be on the Lyon region and the south of France.

The Made in France trend

To appeal to both urban and rural shoppers, Tazita will offer a mix of food and non-food products, and also plans to open sixty larger shops (3,000 square metres) dedicated exclusively to non-food. Since the pandemic, consumers have been attracted by the Made in France approach and Tazita intends to capture this trend by offering at least 70% Made in France products. Organic produce, on the other hand, will account for only a tiny proportion of the products on the shelves (5%).

Unconventional financing

This short supply chain approach goes further than traditional models that prioritise sourcing from local producers. The company intends to involve suppliers in the project by making them investors. According to LSA, if the investment needed for the project is €150 million, Tazita will not turn to banks for its financing, but to its suppliers. At a time when the traditional retail model is being shaken up by the arrival of new competitors, GAFAMs and digital giants, Fabrice Gerber believes in the relevance of the cooperative retail model. Until the 80th shop opens, the supplier will need to be a shareholder, the entrepreneur told LSA. In return, these investors will receive 25% of the profits. Tazita claims that 150 suppliers have already signed up to become partners in the new retail brand.

A more virtuous model?

At a time when negotiations between suppliers and retail giants are faltering, the model proposed by Tazita stands out. While there have already been a number of initiatives along these lines, involving end consumers in the supermarket profitability model, Tazita is the first operator to work in direct collaboration with suppliers and producers.

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For more than two decades, the experts at AURIS Finance have been using their sector-specific expertise to analyse changes in the retail sector and assist companies in financing, selling or acquiring targets. They can assist you in your search for funding, whether traditional or unconventional.

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