A call from the Garrigue

The Monopoly Of Choice.

 

 

I recently visited my favourite New Technology Superstore, in Nîmes. I needed a cable for a computer, which I had recently bought from “Planet Saturn” in the Gallery Marchande of Géant Casino,  in the Carré Sud Commercial Zone.

 I was surprised to find that “Planet Saturn” had suddenly become “Boulanger.” Not more than a few hundred yards away, in Ville Active, Boulanger already had a large store, though not as large as the Planet Saturn premises.

In my simple mind, I would have expected Planet Saturn to have been more likely to have taken control of Boulanger, which I assumed to be an inferior and smaller enterprise.

I decide to do a little research. I was amazed at what I found.

Boulanger, was in fact a part of the Mulliez Empire. The best known holding of Mulliez, is the Hypermarket chain Auchan. However the interests of Mulliez do not end there.

 In fact it is hard to move in Nîmes without bumping into Mulliez.

Without noticing, I had already passed the “Flagship” enterprises of the Mulliez  family holdings.

One enters the out-of-town shopping area, known as Ville Active, from a round-a-bout on the Périphérique. The round-a-bout is surrounded by Mulliez.

St. Maclou, floor coverings, alongside Decathlon, sports goods. The opposite side of the round-a-bout, the entrance to Ville Active itself, we find to the right, Kiabi, low-priced fashion. Opposite Kiabi, the original Boulanger, electrical goods and information technology.

Adjacent to Boulanger, we have Norauto,  car parts, tyres and exhausts etc. McDonald’s, nearby, could well be one of the Concessions, which are held by Mulliez, they control many McDonald’s.  They own Flunch and have concessions with Quick, another well-known Fast Food chain.

Farther on we arrive at Leroy Merlin, one of the country’s largest “Do It Yourself” stores. In the same parking we find Top Office, a source of office equipment and information technology.

We now follow the road to Carré Sud, an enormous extension of Ville Active, which is still unfinished. All of these Commerce will soon be served by the Tramway, which is still under construction, leading to the day when cars will be banned in the City of Nîmes.

To the right we see Cultura, which specializes in artistic and other cultural pursuits. Further on we arrive at the enormous Géant Hypermarket. At the entrance, yet another McDonald’s, while in the Gallery Marchande, the store which had provoked my curiosity, the second Boulanger.

There are other Mulliez Holdings in and around Nîmes including Phildar and Kiloutou, Bricoman and Electro Depot.

I had no idea that my own personal shopping habits were under the control of such a pervasive conglomerate. The choice in Nîmes is diminishing daily. My friend has been driven out of business by a Health Food group, which has opened an Organic Supermarket a couple of hundred yards from his small store.  My boy and me made the delightful sign for his family business.

I spend a lot of my time and money in Leroy Merlin, in particular, to buy the materials for my own business. I was under the impression that it was an independent group. The other choice in Nîmes, now that all of the decent DIY stores have been either driven out of business or bought out by multi-nationals, is Castorama, which is owned by B&Q as is the other choice Brico Depot.

The remaining choice for Household Electrics in Ville Active is Darty, which is under the control of whomever now controls UK Companies, Comet and Curry’s. So what are we left with? Not much, other than an even greater reduction of choice ahead of us.

As part of this post, I have questioned many people about the Mulliez Empire, only one person whom I asked had heard of them. What’s more they were under the impression that they controlled Auchan Hypermarkets and nothing else. That is the measure of secrecy surrounding this monopolization of choice.

This is all part of Agenda 21, where all services and resources will be in the same hands. Nîmes is being prepared as a “Human Habitation Zone” as life in the country-side becomes impossible, as a result of astronomical fuel prices and the spiralling cost of housing taxes.

The education system itself is being “privatised” into the hands of multi-national companies, through the introduction of “Academies” which means, as is evident from the Mulliez example, that a small number of rich businessmen will control every aspect of life.

Update: Since writing this post, Mulliez has set-up its very own Family Village compound in the enormous Commercial Zone, which is still under construction in the country-side between Nîmes and Garons, the village now includes Kiabi, Boulanger and Decathlon, all of which have now vanished from Ville Active, to be replaced by two cheap Chinese rubbish Supermarkets, Gifi and La Foire Feuille.

Should you discover any additions to the Empire which includes : Auchan, Leroy-Merlin, Décathlon, Boulanger, Kiabi, Pimkie, Electro Depot, Bricoman, Flunch, Atac, Norauto, Kiloutou, Cultura, Brice, Jules, Xanaka, Top Office, Picwic, Phildar, and many McDonald and Quick concessions, I would be happy if you could leave me a comment with their names.

 

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