Carrefour's test store mixes food and digital technology

In Paris, Carrefour is testing a new store concept that combines fresh produce and convenience products with digital services and catering. Food is mainly moving towards its web shop.

 

A complete market hall

The new 371 sqm store, called "Halle de Clichy", is a variation of the Carrefour City concept and aims to make Carrefour's intended 'food transition' visible to customers. The retailer has halved its normal range of processed food products, to free more space for traditional fresh food.

 

The store has a range of 1200 fresh food products, a quarter of which are organic or carry the Carrefour Quality Chain label. Fruits (including dried fruits) and vegetables are sold in bulk. Shoppers will find themselves in a veritable market hall with its own fishmonger, a butcher and a cheese department. The staff is trained to offer culinary advice.

 

To compensate for the limited range of dry food (4500 references instead of the 8000 present in regular Carrefour City stores), the Halle de Clichy has a pickup point that gives customers access to over 15,000 products on its web shop at hypermarket prices, delivered cost-free. Additional digital solutions are designed to make life easier for the local residents, including a pick-up point for parcels and home delivery. Besides traditional registers there are also self-service registers for added comfort and saving time.

 

Meal solutions

In the restaurant section 18 people can be seated and enjoy sandwiches, salads, quiches, hot and warm dishes any time of the day. All the meals are prepared on the spot and made from products from Carrefour's Quality Chain or Reflets de France. Finally, the store also offers meal solutions, including ready-made meals and Quitoque meal boxes.

 

The store concept marks a new direction for Carrefour, one that other retailers are exploring as well. The idea is somewhat similar to the Fresh Atelier convenience concept recently presented by Belgian supermarket chain Delhaize: that concept combines a range of on-the-go products with a pick-up point. Recent statements from Ahold Delhaize CEO Wouter Kolk also went in the same direction: he predicted that supermarkets will play a different role in the future as 'eat-and-deliver centres' that have their own kitchens serving hot meals. Regular food products will mostly be ordered online, Kolk thinks.