Around 2,000 Carrefour shops will have stopped printing unaddressed advertisements by the end of this year.
From the third week of January 2022, French retailer Carrefour will stop distributing non-addressed advertisements to private households in Paris and Lyon. Carrefour said that a digital platform had been created through which advertisements could be obtained via e-mail or social media. Consumers will, however, be able to have printed Carrefour advertisements sent to them by mail. This system would gradually be extended to cover all supermarkets in France. Switching from printed to digital advertisements at the 35 Carrefour supermarkets in Paris and Lyon alone would enable savings of up to 1,000 t of paper annually, the company explained. Of the 13,000 Carrefour outlets around the globe, around 2,000 will stop printing unaddressed advertisements by the end of the year, Carrefour says.
Carrefour conducted tests last year at supermarkets in four cities to determine how customers reacted to the switch from printed to digital advertisements. In one supermarket, the majority of campaign respondents opted to receive printed advertisements by post but in another, a very large majority reportedly decided in favour of digital solutions. As a final outcome, the switch proved to be successful in three out of the four test locations.
Carrefour underscored that its focus is on preventing wastage of printed advertisements because around 40 per cent was found to be discarded unread. The second important thrust of the investigation was to determine the impact of printed vs. digital advertisements on the sales revenue of the supermarket.
The French chain believes that printed advertising is effective but expensive and is also aware that many customers like to read printed advertising leaflets. The recent, exorbitant increase in prices of all printed and writing paper qualities will surely encourage paper buyers to rethink. The potential for cost savings appears large: the volume of paper that will not be used for printing after a switch to digital advertising in France is estimated to run into several tens of thousand tonnes.
Other supermarket chains in France are thinking along the same lines: operators of the Super U chain for instance, conducted studies last year to determine how customers react to digital advertisements. Franprix and Monoprix have long stopped distributing unaddressed advertisements. Along with these initiatives, a regulation was introduced in France on a trial basis from the beginning of the year in some towns and municipalities stipulating that unaddressed printed advertisements could be distributed only if an Oui Pub sticker on the letterbox indicates that advertising material is welcome.
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