Dutch online supermarket Picnic aims to start its French activities in Valenciennes in a few weeks' time, and has teamed up with Belgian hypermarket chain Cora.
While earlier reports spoke about the "region around Lille" in Northern France, Picnic has now specified it will make its French debut in Valenciennes. The construction of a distribution centre has already started in Lesquin, LSA reports. Cora has not yet confirmed the reports, but did say it had engaged in talks with the Dutch company.
Picnic's French ambitions have been known for a while, after job ads for French-speaking employees, the foundation of a French subsidiary and the inclusion of nutritional information in French on some of its private-label packaging.
As per its usual tactics, the Dutch retailer will probably aim for a gradual expansion in France. In Germany and the Netherlands as well, expansion happens in small steps. In order to enjoy benefits of scale from the beginning, Picnic will use purchasing platform Everest - along with German retailer Edeka, which already has a 35 % interest in Picnic Germany.
France will be Picnic's third market, following the Netherlands and Germany. The online supermarket already serves some hundred Dutch and fifty German cities.