French retailer Carrefour to freeze prices on 100 products to tackle inflation

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PARIS, Aug 22 (Reuters) – French supermarket retailer Carrefour is freezing prices on 100 everyday products from tinned sardines to rice and washing up liquid, it said on Monday, joining other companies striving to help consumers cope with soaring inflation.

The moves follow pressure from President Emmanuel Macron’s government for business to do more to curb rising prices.

Facing the prospect of a supertax on their record profits, French oil major TotalEnergies and shipping giant CMA CGM took further steps in July to cut prices. TotalEnergies said it would reduce fuel prices at its service stations across France from Sept. 1 until the end of the year, while CMA CGM said it would cut shipping fees by 750 euros ($751) per container for imports to France from Asia.

Carrefour said it would freeze prices until Nov. 30 on a variety of products, ranging from food items to healthcare products and clothing.

In the face of surging inflation, other retailers have also targetted consumers’ concerns about the cost of living with their own promotional campaigns.

In May, French supermarket group Leclerc froze prices on the 120 most-bought products through to July, while in April British supermarket operators Asda and Morrisons said they would cut the prices of essential items.

Data published this month showed French inflation rose to 6.8% in July, the highest rate since France began using European Union methodology to calculate the data in the early 1990s, although lower than most other EU countries thanks to government caps on power and gas prices.

Inflation has surged across the world following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which has driven up energy prices, adding to previously existing price pressures from tight supply chains after the worst of the COVID pandemic.

($1 = 0.9985 euros)

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