The French e-commerce market has seemingly opened up a new area of competition: Carrefour and E.Leclerc have both opened so-called “drives piéton”, pick-up locations for pedestrians in urban centers.
Most French retailers’ drives have been located in the suburbs, stand-alone or in parking lots of supermarkets or hypermarkets. Customers can then pick up the groceries with the car, but whoever lives in urban centers and travels by foot, bike or public transportation, there were very few options. Auchan, Cora and Monoprix all tried something, but rather timidly. However, Carrefour and E.Leclerc have now opened a range of pick-up locations for pedestrians in cities like Paris, Lyon, Saint-Etienne and Lille.
Both retailers have a different strategy in mind however: Carrefour, with its strong urban convenience store network, will integrate this pedestrian drives into its existing stores. Customers can pick up groceries in a Carrefour City, Contact or Bio. The first six drives will open in Paris, with another 4 in Lyon and 2 in Saint-Etienne planned. Remarkable is that Carrefour has promised its online shoppers better prices than when they come to the store to shop, but the order’s value has to exceed 40 euro. It is an attempt to attract customers that usually head outside of the city to get their weekly groceries.
E.Leclerc is a hypermarket chain that had no inner-city presence up until recently: it entered the lucrative Parisian market recently, with its delivery service “Leclerc chez moi” (Leclerc at my place) among other things. E.Leclerc entrepreneurs are now building independent, separate pick up locations. A pilot store opened in April 2017 in Lille and already processes 1,000 orders a week, averaging 38 to 40 euro per order. The store targets a 1.5 million euro annual turnover, its manager told LSA. He opened a second location in the same city only last week. Another one opened in Aurillac and Paris should welcome its own range of pick-up locations in May, which will prompt the fight to attract the online customer.