French retailers will extend their efforts to charge the lowest possible prices for essential food items for an additional three months, according to Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire. The initial three-month campaign, known as the “anti-inflation quarter,” was scheduled to end next month but will now be prolonged. Minister Le Maire made the announcement during an interview on the TV show Quelle Époque on France 2 Television (source), stating that the extension is necessary due to the ongoing high consumer inflation and the challenges faced during the summer period.
The “anti-inflation quarter” initiative, which started on March 15, involves most supermarkets committing to selling a selection of products at the lowest prices possible. This approach provides retailers with flexibility in determining the specific items and prices. The goal of the campaign, supported by the Ministry of the Economy (Bercy), is to address the surging inflation in supermarket aisles, which reached nearly 16% on an annual basis in March.
Bruno Le Maire emphasized the difficulties expected during the summer season and the fact that immediate price reductions may not be achievable. Therefore, retailers have been urged to commit to the initiative for the following summer. The minister expressed appreciation for the retailers’ cooperation and confirmed their agreement to extend the operation beyond the initial three-month period, which is scheduled to end on June 15. He had previously praised their willingness to continue the campaign during early May, and he now reaffirms the government’s commitment to curbing the price spiral and promises proposals for tax reductions in the coming weeks.