Immochan, Auchan's real estate branch, is planning a virtual shopping centre, which will give every chain in one of the 108 actual Immochan shopping centres an additional online point of sale.
Immochan goes "omnichannel"...
Immochan goes omnichannel under the code name E2C, with the launch of a virtual shopping centre in October. Surfers can then browse every item that is on offer at any of the 400 retailers that are currently renting a space in the 108 Immochan shopping centres in France. Only half of those retailers are currently active online, or so it is said.
Even shopping centre visitors spend an increasing amount of time online, according to Hervé Vanden Abeele, who is responsible for Immochan's e-commerce. "Before they head somewhere, they not only want to prepare their shopping list and learn about possible discounts, but they also wish to check up on the product list and possible entertainment."
When the web platform becomes operational, French citizens will be able to place orders through the internet, pay online and pick up their orders in the store afterwards. They can also use a central pick-up point or - if they are willing to pay an additional fee - get it delivered to their doorstep.
... to lure more people to the shopping centres
Immochan hopes the customers will come to pick up their orders, as the chain makes its intentions known: "To get more people to our shopping centres and to generate more revenue by creating loyal customers", Vanden Abeele said. These shopping centres already get 1 million visitors per day, but that was a 0.5 % drop compared to the year before.
The goal is to get around 100 retailers on board for the launch in October and the idea should result in a 5 tot 10 % visitor increase in the first year. Chains that participate have to pay a fee on their sales, depending on the product. The fee could be up to 14 % for clothing for example.
Currently, Immochan has 362 shopping centres in 12 countries (it owns 78 % of these centres, worth 7.8 billion euro). E2C is part of a total three-year investment plan worth 645 million euro, with 250 million euro meant to update current shoppin centres.