120 years of History
Creation by Geoffroy Guichard of the Company of Casino Stores and Food establishments
The establishment situated rue des Jardins was originally the Lyrical Casino of Saint-Etienne. Closed because of questionable morals, it became a retail grocery business in 1860 and kept its original name: « Casino ». After the Perrachon family, it was Geoffroy Guichard who became, in 1892, the sole owner of the business.
Invention of the distributor’s brand
In order to protect itself from competition and promote products manufactured in its factories, the Casino brand was created in 1901 and registered in 1904. The number of Casino products rapidly developed: grocery, confectionary, deli, perfumes, drug store, wines and liquors… As from the creation of the brand, the quality policy was reaffirmed. Raw materials were controlled and verified to ensure constant quality.
Implementation of the first self-service store
During a study trip in the USA and Canada, the managing team looked at the organization in stores, particularly self-service, and the presence of refrigerated units. On 27th October 1948, the first self-service branch opened in Saint-Etienne. Success was immediate. Over 10 years, 500 branches adopted this new sales principle. Alongside, the development of a real cooling chain started. Warehouses started to get equipped with cooling chambers and stores were equipped with refrigerated units.
Opening of the first supermarket
The first 700 m2 Casino supermarket opened on 18th May 1960 in Grenoble. It was self-service and offered customers low prices and a wide choice, with specialized aisles – a cold meat counter, a butcher’s, a deli and a cold aisle were all very important. Trolleys enabled easier circulation. Another novelty : vacuum-packed meat in a cutting workshop visible to all customers in the store. Consumers came from far-away cities and towns to discover this new store, encouraged by mass presentations. A few months later, 4 other supermarkets were opened.
Opening of the first hypermarket
The first Géant Casino hypermarket opened in Marseille on 25th March 1970. With a surface of 16 000 m2, it was one of the biggest stores in France. The shopping mall counted 41 independent businesses and a Casino cafeteria with 400 seats. Géant Casino offered its consumers around 65 000 products for clothing, leisure, home and of course, food products.
Merger with the Rallye Group, owned by Jean-Charles Naouri
In October 1992, the Rallye Company of Brest brought to Casino Group all of its distribution and restaurant activities. The network of Rallye stores was composed of 49 Hyper Rallye, 232 supermarkets Rallye Super, 29 Auto-Service, 70 Marest cafeterias and 6 warehouses. Following this deal, Rallye owned 29% of Casino’s total capital.
Acquisition of shareholding in Monoprix-Prisunic
In December 1996, Casino Group signed a partnership agreement in the purchasing and logistics domains with Monoprix, a branch of Galeries Lafayettes. In 1997, Monoprix purchased the whole of Prisunic’s capital, with the support of Casino which became a shareholder of the new Group at 21,6%. At that time, there were 360 Monoprix and Prisunic stores, spread across the whole of France. In June 2012, Casino Group purchased the remaining 50% of Monoprix.
Purchasing of Franprix and Leader Price
In September 1997, Casino Group became a majority shareholder in the Franprix-Leader Price network and also ensured a national presence in the Discount domain with 265 Leader Price stores and a considerable presence in the Paris Region with 383 Franprix stores.
Acquisition of shareholding in the Colombian Leader Exito
In 1999, Casino Group acquired a 25% stake in the Colombian distribution Group Exito. Like Casino, Exito was also born in province, in Medellin, with the creation of a convenience store in 1949. The Group was developed around a multi-format model (hypermarkets, supermarkets, convenience and discount stores). In 2007, Casino Group became the majority shareholder of Grupo Exito.
Appointment of Jean-Charles Naouri as CEO
Reference shareholder of the Group since 1992, Jean-Charles Naouri became CEO of Casino in March 2005. Jean-Charles Naouri started his career in the civil service as a tax inspector. In 1987, Jean-Charles Naouri joined the Rothschild Bank and then founded its investment company called Euris. In 1991, he acquired the Breton distributor Rallye. Convinced in the potential of this field and the two companies united together, he brought Rallye into the Casino Group, in which he became the reference shareholder.
Key presence in Brazil
Already present in Uruguay and in Argentina since 1998, Casino Group became in 2012 the controlling shareholder of Grupo Pão de Açúcar, no 1 of distribution in Brazil. This takeover of GPA gave a new dimension to Casino Group and made it one of the first distributors in the world. By 2015, all activities of Casino Group in Latin America would be combined around Grupo Exito.
Strategic partnership with the food delivery leader Ocado
In 2017, Casino Group took a decisive step forward in food e-business by signing a partnership agreement with the British Cybermarket Ocado. The agreement states that Ocado will provide its expertise and its logistical technology to build, by 2020, a high-tech automated warehouse in the Paris region which will optimize food delivery. Monoprix will be the first brand to take advantage of this logistical platform.
Monoprix gets involved in e-business with Sarenza and Amazon
In 2018, Monoprix bought out Sarenza, the leader in footwear sales on the Internet. This deal allowed for the combination of a strong network, fashion, home design and the beauty of the Monoprix teams with the know-how in e-business of Sarenza to create a real and unique «multi-channel lifestyle» leader. Another step forward for Monoprix in 2018 : the first business partnership signed by a general food brand with the Giant Amazon.