In an interview, Georges Plassat, French supermarket chain Carrefour‘s CEO, indicated he still believes there is a future for physical stores. He feels the digital and physical space have to work hand in hand in the future, to complement each other.
“Physical network is the foundation”
In an interview with French paper, Les Echos, Plassat said there is still a need to invest in physical stores, even in the digital age. “The physical network is the essential foundation“, he said. A customer in the food industry is looking for contact, advice and service, things they are most likely to find in a physical store. “Who dreams about a world where you are secluded in your own home and control everything through a screen?” he added.
He is very convinced that the delivery costs will grow in the future, as that will be the only way to create a sustainable business model. Online stores will not eradicate physical stores, but will contribute to their evolution, he feels. The acquisition of the “pure player” Rue du Commerce fits entirely into his strategy to do similarly with Carrefour, as he intends to give his customers as many options as possible.