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Carrefour has joined the IBM Food Trust platform, which aims to use Blockchain to improve transparency and accountability in food production by connecting information across the supply chain.

Improving food safety

One of the primary aims of the collaboration is to improve food safety by increasing the ability of businesses to quickly identify and trace goods as they move through supply chains. Blockchain provides users with permission with a view of transactions and information relating to a specific product, crop or commodity. This makes it relatively simple to retrieve information on the source of a product, a production batch number or product’s state at specific locations.

Why Blockchain?

What makes Blockchain so powerful is its security. Due to the way in which a Blockchain is constructed, the information stored within it cannot be fraudulently adjusted.
Carrefour joins major global manufacturers and retailers already on the platform, including Nestlé, Unilever, Kroger, Walmart and S Group.

A rising need for transparency

Cosme de Moucheron, IBM’s Managing Director in charge of Carrefour Group, commented: "Consumers want more and more transparency regarding the products they eat. That's why members of the IBM Food Trust ecosystem are co-developing a new solution – so that all of the parties involved in the supply chain can guarantee product traceability and quality. We are delighted that Carrefour is joining the group of founder members behind this initiative so it can play an active role in extending it throughout Europe and the rest of the world."

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We look at how European retailers are innovating in online.

Increased use of pedestrian Drives in France

Pedestrian Drives allow shoppers to place orders online and collect them from convenient locations in the centre of cities or towns. Retailers are marketing them as enabling shoppers to buy from a hypermarket’s range and prices, while not having to leave city centres. Pedestrian Drives are becoming increasing popular with retailers in France as they look to compete online and create profitable last mile fulfilment solutions.

Leclerc tested its first pedestrian Drive in Lille in 2017 and now operates a total of six in Anglet, Aurillac, Lille, Meaux and Reims. Leclerc has said it is aiming to open four more pedestrian Drives in Caen, Montbéliard, Montpellier and Toulon, without giving a timeframe for doing so.

Meanwhile, Carrefour has opened 16 pedestrian Drives. The sites are a mixture of points being added into existing convenience stores in Paris, Lyon and Saint-Étienne and standalone pedestrian Drive sites. Cora experimented with Drive points in Metz in 2016 and Verdun in 2017, calling them “Cora in town”, while Auchan will open its first pedestrian Drive in Lille on 10 October 2018.

Amazon lockers installed in E.Leclerc hypermarkets

E.Leclerc and Amazon have partnered and will install Amazon lockers across the grocery retailer’s hypermarket network in Spain. The lockers are already installed in many stores, and installations will be completed across the rest of the network soon.

Last year in 2017, Amazon partnered with DIA to install lockers across selected stores in its network. For DIA and E.Leclerc the move helps to make their physical outlets more attractive and convenient for shoppers. According to Amazon, there are over 120 lockers in Spanish cities and towns. Some of these are open 24 hours, whilst other share the times of the buildings they are located in.

Colruyt will trial home delivery in 2019

Belgium-based Colruyt will trial a grocery home delivery service in 2019. The company will first test the service in large cities, such as Antwerp, Brussels and Ghent, with smaller locations, such as Namur and Liège, to follow eventually.

Colruyt said a home delivery solution had to be developed in a sustainable way. Hanne Poppe, spokesperson for Colruyt, said, "Home delivery will only happen if it can be done in a sustainable way, i.e. with cars on sustainable fuels (electric, hybrid or CNG gas) and in city centres, where the distances are shorter".

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Carrefour’s Polish operation will remove c. two million kilometres from its freight transport activities in 2018. This improvement will contribute to the overall Carrefour ambition of reducing CO2 emissions by 40% by 2025 (vs 2010 levels).

The improvements have come from three areas. Firstly, the company has implemented a new Transport Management System (TMS) which enabled it to optimise transport flows around their network from suppliers to stores. Secondly, it has changed the way trucks are loaded to maximise the height of carriers and increase trailer fill, hence reducing the overall number of journeys needed. And finally, it has increased backhauling activity with suppliers to reduce empty running between stores and warehouses.

Carrefour Poland operates almost 900 stores across multiple formats. You can find out more about the company’s supply chain in our retailer snapshot.

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Carrefour has announced a European first with a food blockchain initiative. It plans to extend the initiative to eight more product lines by the end of 2018.
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Growth in the online channel in France has been fuelled by click and collect and drive services. The switch in shoppers’ buying habits represents a transformational shift in the way they interact with retailers. Looking to benefit from the volume opportunity that the channel presents, Carrefour is on a journey to develop a profitable online fulfilment model, rather than merely adding scale.

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