E.LECLERC is the consumers’ favorite retailer in France. We also pioneered good environmental practices, with clear commitments to environmental preservation, sustainable development and ethical trading.
Independent storeowners are all members of an association called ACDLec, created in 1964 by Edouard Leclerc. His son, Michel-Édouard Leclerc, is its current President.
Each member runs one or two stores – hypermarkets or supermarkets – for his own benefit. Meanwhile, members work part time in the Group’s cooperative business entities to share their expertise and provide effective supervision. Their personal efforts contribute to the Group’s development.
They also sponsor former employees to become an independent storeowners and buy a store when they have little funds of their own. This method of co-option – placing merit and values above diplomas – is unique among major European retailers. It creates bonds between the Association’s members who share the same goal and experience.
Members share four basic commitments:
- sell at discount prices
- distribute 25% of store profits to the employees
- participate in the business entities’ day-to-day operational and commercial running (in purchasing and sourcing)
- sponsor store employees to become independent storeowners.
E. LECLERC: a rule breaker
Since the first store opened in 1949, E.LECLERC has been, and still is, the “troublemaker” of the French retail industry. We always have the consumers’ best interests in mind and never hesitate to discard old habits, innovate and disturb, to meet their expectations.
E.LECLERC’s history is marked by many victories:
- fighting against the high cost of living → an ongoing battle to lower prices every day
- fighting against all barriers to the free market → after an epic legal battle, a major accomplishment in this area was getting the French government to stop setting the fuel prices in 1985
- fighting against pollution and waste → well ahead of regulations and public awareness, E.LECLERC launched a series of initiatives to help preserve the environment (lifetime bag recycling initiative, recyclable cooler bags and cotton carrier bags that are fairtrade, reusable and biodegradable, green household cleaning products development…)
- fighting for the broadest availability of cultural goods → helping low income households to access culture by opening dedicated stores offering products at competitive prices
- fighting for consumer information → strengthening consumers’ awareness in their choices
Edouard Leclerc - Founder