Finding supermarkets in France

Discussion in 'Continental Touring' started by Mags52, Oct 7, 2012.

  1. Mags52

    Mags52 Funster

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    Even though we've just spent 6 weeks in France we never solved the mystery of the direction signs to supermarkets.
    We always do our shopping en route to the next place so don't normally return to the same shop twice - which made our frustration worse...
    So you are driving into a town and a big sign appears and says something like
    Leclerc tout droit (straight on) 3 mns
    So you drive for a few minutes looking wildly around for Leclerc and see nothing.
    Next you see a sign that says Leclerc dir xxx 4 mns - or even more frustrating another supermarket altogether.
    What the heck do those mns mean? I thought they meant minutes but you'd have to be driving like a formula 1 driver to get to the (often well hidden) supermarket in the time if it does.
    Does anyone have the answer?
    Mags
     
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  2. Traveller_HA5_3DOM

    Traveller_HA5_3DOM Read Only Funster

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    In France they do seem to group them together in the Zone Industrial area so when you find one the others are not far away. I have a pushpin set for Autoroute 2010 if that would help.
    Added the file to the downloads section. It is in a .Zip format as it would not accept .axe
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2012
  3. steveclecy

    steveclecy Read Only Funster

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    Until we got used to it, the Carrefour sign used to confuse us to death!
    [​IMG]
    Is it left, is it right? NO, it's their symbol.

    Try your Satnav for POIs for fuel. They will normally find the supermarkets.

    Steve
     
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  4. Mags52

    Mags52 Funster

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    Thanks Steve. We were confused by the arrows too. On one occasion a sign told us to turn round at the next roundabout to find Carrefour. Going back along the road we came from we saw the arrows sign at the next roundabout and thought we had to do it again but it was straight on. Lol
     
  5. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    Tons of POI files in all formats and for all countries at Pocket GPS World, you may have to register to download , then fill yer boots.
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2012
  6. Traveller_HA5_3DOM

    Traveller_HA5_3DOM Read Only Funster

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    Managed to add a photo of the POI sets "I hope
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2012
  7. Heyupluv

    Heyupluv Read Only Funster

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    NEVER!!!!!!!..... follow signs for McDonalds or supermarkets any other sign that SAYS 2mns...or 3 or 5 ....or signs that say 2km or 5km....because the person or person who put the signs either did not have a watch or a milometer...or his clock had been stopped since the war.......after you have done about 15 miles or 20km you get fed up still thinking its around the next bend.....just don't bother there is normally one in most villages...
    We do the same as you we shop on route...
    You can if you want (as I have ) I have L.Clerc, Auchan, Lidl, Aldi, Intermarche, Carrfour, on our TOMTOM:thumb:
     
  8. magicsurfbus

    magicsurfbus Funster

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    I downloaded all my Supermarket POIs for nothing using the TomTom Home support software - France and Spain, not to mention UK.
     
  9. veevee

    veevee Funster

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    Couple of points to add

    In a small town or village look for signs for the Marie (townhall) as that will be near the centre. The Marie usually has parking or is on the town square and from there you see or be near the smaller supermarche. A church spire across the tops of roofs is also a good clue.

    If you are looking for food and fuel we tend to use the larger Hypermarche, the sign you are looking for is ' Center Commercial ' not usually Zone Industrial. These are on the outskirts of towns and cities, very rarely in the centre. So with your mapping look for inner ring roads as not many of the very latest outer bypasses have ' Center Commercial' close to them yet.

    As Heyupluv metions, McDonalds signs are often visible from a great distance and are usually a tell tale for a commercial center.

    If you get to any super or hypermarche that has a height barrier too low for your MH then look for the sign ' Livraison ' (delivery), this is the access for the delivery trucks and usually but not always the route into the regular parking areas. But you have to use your common sense in this last part as sometimes you will just have to turn around and exit the way you came in as deliveries are zoned off.

    On a few occasions there is a height barrier on the entrance to a parking area but not on the exit ! We have sometimes just snuck in using the exit if it looks safe or there is no traffic.

    Following ' 5mn toute droite signs ' has rarely been successful for us either, but we use the above with an almost 100% success rate now.
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2012
  10. sedge

    sedge Funster

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    HoHoHo - and when the sign isn't big enough to fit 'Centre Commercial' on they sneakily abbreviate it to 'CCal'. It's as well to know that, sometimes!

    We downloaded the supermarkets from Tom a long time ago. Or actually some of the supermarket websites have theirs downloadably, so if you have one favourite chain you want to stick to, you can do that instead.
     
  11. Hollyberry

    Hollyberry Funster

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    Never take any notice of the " Le Clerc (or whatever) 3 mins"--you'd need a Harrier jet.

    You will also find a sign for one supermarket outside the premises of a rival! My local Auchan has a sign for LeClerc--it's at least a 20 minute drive away.
    Auchan is advertised just outside my village and it is about 15 kms further on.

    Ask at the Mairie.
    Ask a local.
    You could stop at any garage or bar and ask for directions, as locals are usually very willing to help.
     
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  12. Mags52

    Mags52 Funster

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    Great source of info thanks - and a few laughs as a bonus.
    We did find the Center Commercials often en route and went there but the signs were useless. Glad to know that it wasn't just that we were being dozy.
    In Chalons sur Saone we limped into one of the big commercial centres running on fumes and were horrified to discover that there was a height barrier on the entrance to Carrefour. It said 2m but it looked at least 4m high. In desperation we went in then found that the petrol station had a 3.2 height barrier (we are 3.1) so we crawled in with one of us checking the height and the other driving and ducking at the same time :Rofl1:
    Got in no bother but had to drive out the entrance.
    Sometimes needs must.
    Why do they do that height restriction thing anyway? They look after motorhomes so well in every other way.
     
  13. magicsurfbus

    magicsurfbus Funster

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    Even though quite a few supermarkets have fuel station canopies that are too low for MHs to get under, they often have a pump outside (or near the edge of) the canopy, and it may have a button marked 'PL' ie Poids Lourds = heavy vehicles. I'm pretty certain the PL pump transfers the fuel at a faster rate, as PLs have huge fuel tanks compared to most vehicles. So if there's only a PL button available you need to make sure your nozzle is well in (ooer missus).
     
  14. MikeandCarolyn

    MikeandCarolyn Read Only Funster

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    We've never cracked the code either :BigGrin:
    Fortunately,our new Garmin has most of them pre-loaded :thumb:

    Mike.
     
  15. stcyr

    stcyr Funster

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    ... hmm. ... must be doing summat wrong - never had any trouble finding the supermarchés ... :Angry:
     
  16. ericonabike

    ericonabike Read Only Funster

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    Ha! You think you've had problems! The other year I cycled from St Malo to Montpellier over 6 days. Fairly tight schedule. On Sunday I was pretty desperate for a lunch-time refuel and saw 'Carrefour 3 mn' sign. Well. Took me best part of 3/4 hour to get there and I was pedalling hard! The air around me when I eventually saw the shop was blue - a lengthy detour was so what I hadn't wanted! As others have said - the time/distance indicators are 'optimistic'...
     
  17. spongy

    spongy Read Only Funster

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    Supermarket signs in France are a little French mystery, never to be solved.
    I usually do a google search on my tom-tom sat nav takes you straight there.

    spongy
     
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  18. Roryboys Dad

    Roryboys Dad Read Only Funster

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    This sign in Boulogne-sur-Mer is a good example of the French way of thinking.

    If you follow the sign as directed it takes around 15 minutes, not 8 mins as indicated, as you have to go through the town centre and is at least 5 miles.

    But if you turned round at that point and went the opposite direction you can get to the E.Leclerc Supermarket at Outreau, by using the A16 motorway, in about 8 minutes and only 4 miles.

    :france::france::france:
     

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  19. JJ

    JJ Funster

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    I am with spongy on this matter.

    I have a Tomtom with Live Services.

    Choose which supermarket you want (if fussy,) or just type in "supermarket" and within seconds you have a choice... pick the one you fancy, select it and "Selena" will guide you there (and tell you how long it will take.) :thumb:

    JJ :Cool:
     
  20. ojibway

    ojibway Funster

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    An interesting point about road direction signs in France is that:
    an arrow pointing left on the right hand side of the road means go straight on.:Eek!:
    An arrow pointing left on the left hand side of the road means turn left:BigGrin:
    Took me a few years to figure it out :Doh:

    My theory on finding a supermarket is that you'll always find one sooner rather than later, as you enter a town or leave a town. Villages will have a Shopi or similar. And then there are the Lidls and Aldis springing up everywhere!:thumb:
    Mike
     
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