French chain E.Leclerc is planning to expand its “Drive” shops (where customers can collect the food products they ordered online) both in number and offer. The group hopes to open over 350 new Drives in the next four years, raising their turnover from 405 million to 1.5 billion euro.
Drive stores already cause 30% of growth
The cooperative group of hypermarkets and supermarkets from Brittany is in the winning mood, as its market share rose to 17.7% and the ever decreasing share of market leader Carrefour, 21%, comes within reach. Chairman Michel-Edouard Leclerc now aims at becoming the number one himself within the next two years.
E.Leclerc owes one third of its growth to its Drive stores, already representing 1.4% of the group’s revenue (405 million euro for the Drives alone) – despite having only 3,500 product references (only food), compared to the 25,000 in the group’s hypermarkets. Currently there are over 100 Drives, but Leclerc aims to have 144 Drives by the end of this year, 250 at the end of 2012 and 400 by 2015. Their revenue should rise from the 405 million now to 730 million next year – and even 1.5 billion by 2015.
Expanding to culture and multimedia
In the French business newspaper Les Echos, Michel-Edouard Leclerc also stated that the current model for ordering food products online will be used for the group’s complete multichannel strategy. Leclerc hopes to launch a webshop where customers can also order cultural products (books, CDs and DVDs) and multimedia products. If the expansion proves successful, more products could be added to the webshop.
Current Leclerc stores will in turn be remodelled into “Leclerc Villages”. “We will have village squares where shopping is a pleasure and where each consumption theme has more diversity to offer”, says Leclerc. That sounds pretty much like Carrefour’s Planet concept, but “both our webshop and our Villages will always have to live up to the group’s baseline promise: the lowest prices”.