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Germany-based cooperative Edeka said group sales increased 3.2% to €53.6bn. The performance was driven by the organisation’s independent retailers, which saw sales improve by 4.9%.

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The continued evolution of retailing, growth in the breadth and reach of alliances and the emergence of new competitors has been underlined by electrical retailer Fnac Darty announcing it was in exclusive negotiations to acquire Nature & Decouvertes, a retailer of natural and well-being products.

Acquisition to expand Fnac Darty’s well-being offer

Fnac Darty said the purchase would enable it to strengthen ‘its product offering around the segments of well-being and committed natural product consumption, themes that are increasingly important to consumers’. Nature & Decouvertes generated sales of about €200m through its 97 stores and online.

Nature & Decouvertes corners to be opened in Fnac Darty

Fnac Darty also said it would look to add Nature & Decouvertes ‘corners in the Fnac stores in France’. This would provide new opportunities for it to drive traffic to its stores, mirroring steps it has taken with others, where it has added Darty shop-in-shops at Carrefour hypermarkets, or by working with Google to add Google corners at Fnac and Darty stores.

Range of alliances and challengers adding to competitive pressures

The expansion of alliances, mergers and acquisitions like the one announced by Fnac Darty underlines the growing competitive pressures that mainstream retailers are coming under. The disruption of retailing and the emergence of new competitors in growth categories will continue to put existing business models under pressure and ask questions of how mainstream retailers will look to compete in growth categories.

Subscribers wanting more on the growing reach and size of global retailer alliances, can see our insight presentation.

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.

Carrefour trialling Quitoque click and collect concept

Using the Quitoque recipe box solution, Carrefour has launched a trial of a click and collect solution at five stores, rather than having to have shoppers receive their orders at home. Commenting on the solution, one of Quitoque’s co-founders, Céline Nguyen, said: “For some people, being at home on a given delivery window can be a stumbling block.”

The five stores running the trial are in Yvelines, including two in Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines: Villepreux, Voisins-le-Bretonneux, Marly-le-Roi, Montesson and Croissy-sur-Seine. Nguyen said the stores were chosen as Quitoque already delivers a lot in the area, which is close to its logistics site. According to Nguyen the trial has been successful, with 200 orders being delivered following its launch.

Carrefour Spain adds post office in hypermarket in Madrid

To create new reasons for shoppers to visit and to encourage third parties to use space its stores, Carrefour has announced Correos, Spain’s national postal service, has agreed to install a courier office in a hypermarket in Madrid. The site will enable Correos customers to ‘pay receipts and traffic penalties, purchase prepaid cards, recharge phones, buy event tickets and send or collect parcels’. The companies said that while this is the first example of the collaboration, they did not rule out extending it to more hypermarkets in future.

Carrefour and Google expand partnership to Poland

After announcing an agreement for France, Carrefour and Google have extended the reach of their strategic partnership to Poland. The companies have said the aim is to strengthen Carrefour’s position in the digital channel and to offer a better shopping experience. They said the collaboration would see them work together to develop omnichannel solutions, mobile technologies and increase brand influence.

As in France, Carrefour will share its experience with products and stores, while also sharing the data generated by its store-based and online shoppers. Separately, Google will share its understanding of digitisation, new technologies, AI, while it will also support the retailer’s training and workshops for its staff.

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Germany-based Edeka has announced it will add greenhouses in some of its stores. The step will enable it to offer shoppers fresh, locally-grown herbs and salads.

Edeka to use Infarm solution

Edeka said it had added Infarm’s greenhouses at stores in Edeka Loddenheide and Edeka Gievenbeck, which are both in Münster. Discussing Infarm’s greenhouses, the store owner of Edeka Loddenheide said: “You can hardly buy your products more local. The special thing is that the customer can watch the herbs being grown.

Solution adds to theatre

We have been tracking solutions like that from Infarm for several years. In 2016 Infarm added a greenhouse in a Metro Cash & Carry in Berlin, while Albert Heijn added a growing wall in its Purmerend store and Colruyt has tested in-store vertical farming cultivation. Edeka said the greenhouses do not use pesticides, while the closed ecosystem enables it to limit negative inputs like heat, cold or lack of water, which means they are grown in a more consistent way.

The solutions help the retailers build their brands within the health and local areas, while by involving third parties many can roll them out comparatively quickly.


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