French minister of Trade Sylvia Pinel wants tolimit the number of pick-up points at supermarkets for people who do their shopping online. At the moment France has as many “drives” as it has hypermarkets (about 2000), but during this year about another thousand pick-up points will open up.
Pinol wants to pass a draft bill next month, which would set up a legal frame for the start-up of “drives”, as the French call pick-up points for online orders of supermarkets.
The minister follows a fellow socialist party member, who found it illogical that the opening of such a drive does not have to be presented to the commission that oversees the implementation of new retail initiatives. At the moment it is enough to submit a building permit or to redesign an existing room, to start a pick-up point in France.
2.5% market share
Five years ago the phenomenon of pick-up points was almost non-existent in France. In 2010 Auchan introduced the concept on a larger scale in French retail with ChronoDrive and since then almost all large distributors have joined the party. At the beginning of 2012 there were about a thousand drives in France, at the end of January that were more than 2,000 (see graph) and at the end of this year there will be over 3,000, according to a study by A3Distrib.
Drives are worth 2.5% of the market share in France – more than the complete market share of Aldi France for example. According to several studies that market share will rise to 6% of the food market by 2015, worth sales of over five billion euro. No less than 15% of French families use it regularly.
At the moment most drives are linked to a physical store, but A3Distrib predicts a quick rise of the number of “drive solo” pick-up points, which have no link to a supermarket.