As part of its efforts to upweight its digital commerce efforts and better compete with rivals in France, Carrefour has made several strategic initiatives. We look at these and consider their part in the retailer’s 2022 Turnaround plan.
Head of digital activities spotlights ‘realities’ of Carrefour’s online presence
Talking in Les Echos, after the widely discussed announcement from Leclerc about its plans for Paris, Carrefour’s head of digital activities, Marie Cheval, has said that people need to be aware of the ‘realities’ of the present situation. Cheval said that while Leclerc’s statements were about what could happen in the future, as of March 2018, the reality was already different for Carrefour: it operates over 250 stores in Paris, most of which can already offer home delivery, while its fulfilment is only set to be improved by the launch of a new more efficient picking system.
Cheval said Carrefour was preparing for the introduction of a ‘walk up’ Drive site, which is a central part of Leclerc’s plans for the city, and is all part of the retailer’s digital transformation that it is undertaking now. She went on to say that Carrefour had ‘dithered’ for too long around the expansion of its Drive sites. To rectify this, it would look to open about 170 Drives, with 150 set to be adjacent to Carrefour Market supermarkets.
Investment in supply chain to run concurrent with shopper facing spend
Fulfilment is set to improve at Carrefour too, through the launch of an online dedicated warehouse in early April, which will improve efficiencies throughout the supply chain and help the retailer to keep costs under control better. The site will be opened in Lyon and enable its first pedestrian Drive to be opened in the city. A similar solution will be enabled following the opening of a warehouse in north Paris, which is already delivering to some of the retailer’s hypermarkets and supermarkets.
Cheval, as part of the interview, acknowledged that Carrefour had been concerned about the channel’s unprofitability for too long, suggesting that short term investment plans had limited opportunities to expand quicker. Some of the space being removed from its hypermarkets as part of the 2022 Transformation Plan will be converted to allow picking of online orders, which will add further scale to its online operations.
Carrefour and Google to create voice assistant
Carrefour and Google have announced they are to collaborate to create a voice assistant called ‘Léa’. To enable the service shoppers will need to link their Carrefour Drive or Ooshop accounts to Google’s Home Assistant. Once done, shoppers simply activate the service by saying ‘OK Google, talk to Carrefour.’ Shoppers can buy from Carrefour’s site and Greenweez, an organic store that it owns. The incorporation of the latter suggests that Carrefour is thinking ahead for as and when it makes further online purchases, which will be able to fulfilled through its supply chain, driving efficiency.
Announcing the partnership, Carrefour said: “Léa has been designed to make day-to-day life easier for our customers – they can use it to manage their shopping lists... using just their voice.” Léa will enable shoppers to find nearby Carrefour stores and add products to their shopping lists, which can be fulfilled either at a Drive site or through home delivery service, Ooshop.