Two French supermarkets to sell fuel at cost price

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Petrol pump at Carrefour stationIMAGE SOURCE,GETTY IMAGES

France’s two biggest supermarket chains have said they will sell fuel at cost price to help people with the cost of living.

Carrefour and E.Leclerc made the move ahead of a meeting between the government and fuel retailers.

E.Leclerc – which sold fuel at cost price at the weekend over the summer – said it would do it again seven days a week from Friday.

Carrefour will do the same until the end of the year.

“We are announcing the largest cost-price fuel sales operation in our history,” Carrefour said on social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter.

Michel-Edouard Leclerc, president of the chain of the same name, said it was an “act of solidarity with all customers frightened by the [price] increases and whose buying power is greatly hit”.

France’s fourth biggest supermarket group Systeme U said it would also sell at cost price, starting in October, but only over some weekends, as it could not afford to do it every day.

Its chief executive, Dominique Schelcher, said fuel margins were on average about two euro cents (£0.017) per litre.

At the weekend, French president Emmanuel Macron said he would ask the fuel industry to sell at cost price and would provide 100 euro (£87) grants to the poorest workers who drive to work.

The president said he would meet industry representatives this week to ask them not to charge a profit on fuel. The government floated the idea of adapting the law so that fuel could be sold at a loss, but the plan faced strong opposition from distributors.

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