How do Carrefour supermarkets open at night go?
How do Carrefour supermarkets open at night go?

There is no doubt, the night it's a good business. And no, we're not talking about sordid traffic in the darkest corners of our cities, but about something much simpler: expense weekly.

For some time, in fact, many Italians have been able to do it without having to go to supermarkets on Saturday mornings, thus starting the long-awaited weekend in the worst possible way, but rather going to stock up on food and supplies in more comfortable evening hours.

Or even nocturnal.

And this is due to the Carrefour supermarkets, which, as reports, have for some time been experimenting with unquestionable success opening 24 hours a day, including night, to meet the changing needs and rhythms of contemporary society.

After the opening of the first store in Milan, in Piazza Clotilde, the protagonist of a memorable story in Dissapore, supermarkets with non-stop opening hours have gradually spread and today the stores open 24 hours a day throughout Italy have passed come on 93 last January to the current ones 175.

Data that leaves no doubt about the success of the initiative, as confirmed by Carrefour, who communicated how the sales of the supermarkets involved in the experiment have increased by values between 9% and 12% only in Milan, to reach peaks of 15% -16% in the more peripheral areas.

Numbers that suggest the existence of a real market need: "If the model of the 24-hour opening continues, it is because there is a positive response", declares Carrefour.

And the other large distribution chains are also opening up to the new formula: some stores of the Unes chain already offer non-stop hours until midnight, while Esselunga has extended its opening hours both in the morning and in the evening.

The Carrefour supermarkets on which the 24-hour formula has so far been tested are the so-called "superettes", that is, medium-sized stores that offer a wide enough assortment of products to be satisfactory for customers, without on the other hand needing an excessive workforce.

The staff employed during the night hours is considerably reduced compared to the daytime one, and generally made up of only a couple of cashiers, a security guard and a shelf clerk.

In addition, workers assigned to night hours are identified exclusively on a voluntary basis, Carrefour clarifies, and in the event of a lack of staff, so-called "temporary workers" are used, managed by temporary employment agencies.

And it is precisely this "saving" in terms of workforce that makes night opening economically convenient, which records customer traffic, and relative turnover, obviously much lower than the volumes of the day: "There is no flow of customers of the day, but a sufficient quantity for this model to hold up - let Carrefour Italy know -, and the receipts keep the structures in balance”.

A formula, that of non-stop hours, which would seem to meet everyone's needs: those of consumers, who have less and less space during the day to devote to weekly shopping; to those of workers, to whom the voluntary formula leaves room in the management of work by offering the opportunity to see their income increased (also because night work is more paid); finally to those of the company, which are identified with a fair economic return.

Naturally, the trade unions were also interested in the issue, particularly attentive to the issue of safety, an element that is not negligible in large cities, especially during the night: "We are interested in investigating the issue of safety in the workplace and the measures adopted by the company - explains Stefano Galli of the Milan CISL -. We know of shops equipped with intercoms, where employees only open their doors at the request of the customer. Then we want to understand how shifts are organized, between full time and part-time ".

In short, a formula which, although still in an experimental phase and susceptible of improvement in some aspects, still seems to have found favor with everyone.

However, one last, fundamental aspect remains to be clarified: what will happen to poor Gianni Morandi if he decides to publish his photos in front of the entrance of a supermarket, complete with full shopping bags and a broad smile as a rule, no longer on Sunday morning, but.. at night?

On that occasion, the poor man got away "only" with a load of insults and various accusations of indirect exploitation of the poor workers, forced to toil on Sunday morning to allow him, and the other "sinister" like him, to fill the refrigerator.

This time, faced with even a night job, the consequences for poor national Gianni could be much worse.

Watch out, Gianni: we have warned you!

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