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As Carrefour looks to improve the experience for shoppers of its hypermarkets on a global basis, we round up developments from country operations as they look to make its largest store relevant for today and in the long term.

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As part of its ongoing strategy of improving the experience it offers shoppers, Lidl is investing in different payment solutions across countries in Europe. These include scan and go and self-checkouts.

Reducing queuing times in Paris

Lidl is testing, in one of its stores in Paris, a scan and go app, called SHOP&GO, to cut queuing time at tills. The app is already in use in Portugal and if successful will be extended to more stores in France. We visited the store in Avenue du Maine in Paris where it is being tested.

The app is available on any smartphone. Once downloaded, shoppers need to select the store and connect to its wifi to start scanning their products:


Source: IGD Research

Once the barcode is generated, it can be scanned at any of the self-checkout tills by selecting the SHOP&GO option. The shopping basket appears on the screen and shoppers can then proceed to payment.

Source: IGD Research

Overall the app works well and is easy to use. Communication about the new payment solution, in store, is limited, so its awareness amongst shoppers is limited. But once acquired by shoppers it will be a way for city centre stores to tackle the issue of long queuing times at tills.

Introducing mobile payment in Portugal

Lidl has introduced in its 250 stores a mobile payment solution to facilitate payment for its shoppers. The MB Way app is also used by other retailers in Portugal and shows how Lidl is willing to offer the same level of service to its shoppers.

Investing in faster payment solutions in Belgium and Poland

In February 2019, we visited a store in Leuven in Belgium, where Lidl is testing self checkouts for the first time in the country. According to the store’s staff, the solution has been positively received by shoppers. If successful, it could be added to more stores.

Source: IGD Research

In the meantime, in Poland, Lidl has announced a trial with self-checkouts in several stores. Lidl will assess the efficiency and shopper acceptance of the solution before a potential roll out to more stores.

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As part of Carrefour’s corporate aim to adapt its model and organisation to be a leader in food transition for all, we look at initiatives and campaigns being launched by its operations across Europe.

Carrefour looks to limit consumption of plastic in Poland and Spain

Carrefour Poland is enabling shoppers at its Fordon Gallery store in Bydgoszcz to bring their own containers and bags to limit its use of plastic. Meanwhile the same initiative is being rolled out in Spain, under the #Reutiliza (#Reuse) name, following its launch at a Carrefour Market in Madrid. In the latter country, the initiative is available at 1,000 Carrefour Market stores.

Shoppers buying products like meat, cheese, cabbage, pickled cucumbers, fruit and vegetables can hand over transparent containers with lids, into which staff will put the items and add a label for scanning at the checkout. Separately it has said that by 2025 it is aiming to only use packaging that can be recycled or composted for its private label products.

Carrefour Romania to support farmers’ organic production

Carrefour Romania has launched a programme aimed at supporting sustainable agriculture in the country. The retailer said the five-year initiative would aim to help producers to approach organic certification bodies, support them in dealing with local authorities and help them accessing public financing.

Producers can either register their interest in being involved in the programme online or by visiting one of its hypermarkets. The support would be offered across three main areas:

  • to support farmers for implementing sustainable farming practices in their farms;
  • to build a coalition of stakeholders for the development of sustainable organic agriculture;
  • to engage media and influencers to promote the benefits of bio-farming in the country.

Carrefour to make deliveries with electric vehicles in Madrid

To cut its emissions from delivering online orders, Carrefour is set to use three-wheeled electric vehicles in Madrid. The retailer will use the vehicles, called Scoobic Light, which is 100% electric and uses solar panels for recharging. The Scoobic Light has been designated as a scooter, which means it can be parked in spaces for two-wheeled vehicles, making it highly practical for making deliveries in urban areas. The scooter can run for eight hours and carry 1,400 litres by volume.

Carrefour Italy joins ‘Too good to go’ initiative

Carrefour Italy has joined the ‘Too Good to Go’ initiative. The programme, which is run through an app used by more than eight million people across nine countries, sees food retailers and restaurants sell unsold food for a reduced price. The food is brought together by ‘Too good to go’ in Magic Boxes that sell for between €2 and €6. The app geolocates shoppers and searches for companies in their proximity that will be able to supply food ‘too good to be thrown away’.

Commenting on the step, Carrefour Italy said: “The proposal of practical solutions such as the Too Good To Go app makes it possible to accelerate the achievement of the objective of reducing food waste, a requirement that is not only social, but also environmental.”

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France-based Auchan said in its Retail division, revenue had fallen by 3.3% at current exchange rates (0.5% at constant exchange rates) to €50.3bn. It said on a like-for-like basis revenue fell by 2.4%. Revenue dropped in every region in which Auchan operates.

France: revenue fell 1.3%

Auchan said in FY2018, revenue fell 1.3% in its home market. It said it was affected strongly by the ‘yellow vest’ protests at the end of the year. It estimated that the protests had negatively impacted its revenue by €140m and its EBITDA by €35m.

On the positive side, the company said its 125 days promotion had been a success, until the demonstrations started, and had led to a 4.5% rise in revenue at its launch in October. During the year Auchan completed the conversion of Simply Market stores to Auchan Supermarché. Finally, it noted that by the end of 2018 it had 100 responsible sourcing channels in place.

Southern Europe sees ‘mixed results’

Across its three country operations in southern Europe revenue decreased by 0.7%. Auchan said it had enjoyed ‘solid results’ in Portugal and Spain but suffered ‘a marked decline in momentum in Italy amid sluggish consumption and more intense competition’. In an attempt to stem its losses in Italy Auchan said it had closed 23 stores in the country during 2018, including two hypermarkets.

Russia drags down results in Central and Eastern Europe

In Central and Eastern Europe, Auchan reported revenue fell by 1.4% at constant exchange rates. While Hungary, Poland, Romania and Ukraine had all shown growth, revenue in Russia contracted. Auchan closed 11 stores in Russia in an attempt to turnaround its performance, which it did simultaneously with the introduction of its new business model in the country.

Revenue falls 2.6% in Asia

At constant exchange rates Auchan said revenue had fallen by 2.6% during 2018. It said the drop was ‘mainly as a result of the concession agreement with Suning regarding the sale of home electronics and appliances in stores [which meant] the revenue derived from these sales is no longer taken to Sun Art Retail’s accounts’.

On the positive side, it noted the alliance with Alibaba had led to notable changes, such as the digitisation of 484 Sun Art stores ahead of schedule. For more on Sun Art’s results, see our news story here. Meanwhile, for coverage of the change in management at the company following the results, see our store here.

Performance leads to implementation of ‘Renaissance’ action plan

While the company confirmed its commitment to its long-term Vision 2025 strategy, it said it was ‘to adopt a simpler approach and centre its efforts on turning profits around’. This new initiative would focus on two key areas:

  • In the short term: it would look closely at where the retailer is losing money and take whatever steps are necessary to stem the losses. Italy and Vietnam were identified as countries where it is ‘durably loss-making’, while it was aiming to close 30 stores in Russia and three in China in 2019. However, France seemed to escape some of the focus, with staffing levels and hypermarkets to remain untouched. Investment would be scaled back in 2019
  • In the medium term: this will lead it to improve its food offer, work in support of local areas, become more customer-centric and build out an innovative ecosystem with its partners

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We've developed a single, universal methodology for calculating food and consumer goods retail data, supported by our programme of primary and secondary research. This makes Retail Analysis the most reliable and robust source available for data of this type. 

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