Can anyone please explain the law regarding supermarket special offers in France?

Yet again I have been to Carrefour to take advantage of their special offer of quarter of a lamb.
It is advertised in the magazine which they bother to send to me.
I wish they would bother to have the availability of this offer. There is no mention of limited availability and it is advertised as being available from the 13th to the 18th February.
That means anyone shopping on Friday, Saturday or Sunday will have had it.
I was told that I should have come earlier, but what is the legal position when they make a general offer without mention of limited availability?

Are you saying they still have the lamb but they’re selling it at a higher price, or that they’ve run out of lamb?

If the latter, I don’t see how you can legally oblige supermarkets to have unlimited supplies of a specific product, common sense would tell people that’s not possible. But if you’re saying they still have lamb but they’ve ended the special offer early, clearly that’s a very different matter.

Obviously these offers are designed to get people into the shop, and it’s disappointing when you miss out on an offer, but it wasn’t a personal promise to you.


That’s my take on special offers/promotions too Anna. It can be very frustrating, but if it’s something that I really am interested in then I make an extra effort to be there the day the offer starts.
Had a really good deal in my local Intermarché today…all the fresh fish, oysters, prawns, lobsters etc; at half price. Got there early and stocked the freezer up with some good quality fish. The half price was given in the form of a ‘bon d’achat’, with that, and the other offers I have’ gained’ 30 euros :grin:

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Because we are on a tight budget I try to buy my household items when they are on special offer. Things like shower gel, deodorant, toilet paper, kitchen roll, cleaning products etc. I look at the pub for all the local supermarkets and I’m amazed at the number of weekly special offers at each shop. I often get to the shop to discover the offer is sold out or never arrived, particularly Auchan and Casino.

My French friend will often call ahead to the supermarket and order special offer items if they are fresh, for example mussels or meat to ensure they are available.

If they advertise it between certain dates it should be available is my take.
In ATAC they will put one on one side for me if they have run out, but we are a long way from town, so it is not often worth making the journey.

It’s usually buried somewhere in the small print (subject to availability. Indeed on some special offers the chain will state how many exemplaires are available.

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Even in the UK special offers are normally ‘while stocks last’. Admittedly in the UK stocks do seem to be there longer or the supplies are better. I sometimes wonder if it’s due to supermarkets here bring franchised or not using up to date restocking methods. In the supermarket I was a manager in while working all stock control was computerised using sales info from tills to help ordering and also %uplifts to stock deliveries for special offer items-we used no brand -employed merchandisers at all-they tended to over order a lot.

I agree that there is usually a general understanding that it’s always ‘while stocks last’. Nobody expects to pitch up at the end of Jan for the Harrods sale and get all the deals from the first day. Nobody can honestly expect a supermarket to hold 1,2,3 of every deal for every household in the catchment area in case they all want to turn up and by xx many of each.

We can safely assume that from ‘13th to 18th’ means it starts on the 13th, runs until stocks run out but even if they still have stocks it ends at the close of business on the 18th.

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The only shop thatbingontomespecially for the special offers is Lidl. If I am particularly interested in an item I always go on the first morning of the offer. I’m sure that they make it clear it’s while stocks last.

Hi Dominic… yes, Lidl do…In small print on the very back page of their blurb:

"Toutes nos offres sont disponibles en quantitié limitée… "

and I have seen similar phrases on other “publicité” …

Carrefour Market: currently showing…

“Offres valables jusqu’à épuisement des stocks, par quantités normales…”

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Hi Dominic, yes and Lidl are a particularly good shop for German made power tools with a 3yr guarantee. We also like some of the food specials, but yes, go on the first day. Have a great weekend.

We have a new Lidl (well it opened last year) that has replaced a small 'tatty 'one . It’s bright, clean and the staff are very pleasant. The offers and promotions are good too, plus the 16 day no quibble money back is excellent. There is a Super U next door to it and it’s abysmal. I bought a telephone there that just wouldn’t work from day 1, I had to jump through hoops, the after sales service was dreadful, the chap in charge of that rayon was surly 'phone had to be sent away before they agreed it was a dud and I got my money back !
Oh, and a friend wanted some motorcycle clothes that were on offer at Lidl, he explained that he couldn’t get there the day they were put out (next day) and asked if they could put them to one side, the manageress took him into the warehouse, let him pick the things he wanted and passed them through the till for him, hows that for service ? :slight_smile:


my wife works for a supermarket and she hears this all the time. All offers are subject to availability. once its gone its gone kind of thing.

there was a special on a roast pork joint the other week and one bloke walked in and loaded a trolley up. he was made to put it back but it happens all the time. They do try to be fair. often your publication is later than the offer, i always say check the website on supermarkets or get the stocard add and add your card details (store card)

on this special offers are always showing up.

I love that app Harry ! - been using it for a while now and thrown away all my plastic loyalty cards etc. It’s just brilliant as it geo-locates you and the loyalty card for the shop you’re in/near pops up on your device screen automatically. Plus - as you say ,you get all the offers as soon as they’re out. Simple and effective - big thumbs up :-:ok_hand::ok_hand::ok_hand:

On topic - always check that the bulk buy promo prices are in fact that. Sometimes I’ve noticed it’s cheaper to buy the items individually…hummmmmm

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That is excellent.
I was surprised that the Aldi in Bury St Edmunds could actually be part of the same brand as the shop in Macon.
So much more choice and good pricing.
I asked the manager why that was and he said that the UK customer is more discerning.

Maybe Jane but I suspect it’s also got a lot to do with French protectionism and the ludicrous concept of concurrence déloyale (literally - disloyal competition - for goodness sake, I ask you!)

Is that another phrase for “shopping around”?:rofl:

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At Leclerc in St Nicolas de Redon the weekly magazine was offering Water Butts at half price. I arrived before the shop opened and waited and actually saw a water butt bring wheeled into the store. I think I was first in and got a ticket to pay. Bring your vehicle round to the side entrance, I was told, she proceeded to put the water butt back on the pallet trolley. I’d prefer one out of your warehouse! This is the only one we’ve got she replied. So anyone coming after me would be unlucky. I had bought the only one available. I went in a few days later and whilst the sign was still proudly displaying the offer, there were no water butts. I call that a con, not illegal but clearly an enticement to get me and others into the store.

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never heard anything like that. always plenty of stock when ive been places.

When a store is part of a group or a chain the offers policy will be set by head office and head office also decides how to distribute the offer items between stores. Small stores with low footfall and low turnovers will be bottom of the list unfortunately, most of the offer stocks will go to flagships stores. You can always drive to a larger store if your local store doesn’t have what you wanted in stock, In the UK I sometimes used to do the rounds of local Lidls to find one with a stock of a particular special offer item and more often than not I used to find it in the end.