As Carrefour looks to drive online growth and add further digital solutions in-store, we look at four developments from its operations in France, Poland and Romania.
Carrefour’s first robotic pedestrian drive enters service in Paris
Carrefour has recently introduced its first robotic pedestrian drive in the 14th arrondissement of Paris. The system behind the pedestrian drive has been deployed by Polish company Retail Robotics and combines in a single block the storage of the boxes (94 or 202, depending on the chosen variant) and the device itself, consisting of hatches that open to give customers access to their order without human intervention. At the moment, the operating rate is reduced to calibrate the installation.
The customer scans a QR code in front of a reader, which triggers the delivery of the order. The lockers that contain the orders are brought by an automatic device from the storage area to the hatch. Shoppers collect their groceries, then puts the locker back (empty) or leaves it in the hatch. If the order contains frozen foods, these must be collected from a specific cabinet. According to Retail Robotics, two or three customers can collect their order simultaneously (depending on the variant installed).
Carrefour Poland adds grocery to click and collect service
Carrefour Poland has added grocery ranges to its click & collect service. Shoppers will now be able to order groceries online and collect them from any of the retailer’s more than 200 stores (across hypermarket or supermarket formats) in the country. Each order will be processed by an employee at the selected store, with no additional fees. To use the service, shoppers log on to the store, at Carrefour.pl, then choose ‘Pickup at the Carrefour point’ fulfilment method, then the specific store and the date of order collection, before completing their payment online too. The service is an addition to home delivery, which has been available in Poland for a short period.
Carrefour Romania adds fast-paced delivery option
Separately, Carrefour Romania, as it looks to expand its range of fulfilment and delivery options, has begun to enable shoppers to get deliveries in 90 minutes through Bringo. The service, which launched on 1 September, enables shoppers to buy from a range of up to 50,000 products, depending on which store they choose to receive delivery from.
Carrefour Romania previously bought a stake in Bringo, with this step seeing it integrate the service into its main site. To take advantage of Bringo, shoppers log onto Carrefour.ro and then choose Super Bringo market, then the store they want to buy from and, finally, the products they want. A personal shopper then receives their order, puts it together in-store, ‘talking in real time with the customer to offer recommendations, suggestions and the chance to add new products to the shopping basket, if the customer demands it’. The Bringo service is in addition to Carrefour Romania’s existing click and collect offer, which provides order completion in three hours.
Carrefour looks to make checkout easier in France
As part of a trial at its Villiers-en-Bière hypermarket, which is about 50 km from Paris, Carrefour is testing the C'Réservé service. The process will enable shoppers to reserve a specific time at the till, which will mean they no longer need to queue. The solution was developed with ESII, which specialises in such technology. To use the service, shoppers scan a QR code, which have been added at several intervals around the store, and then choose the time they want to visit the checkout. Carrefour has previously trialled a similar solution, without a positive reception from shoppers, but against the backdrop of social distancing and the coronavirus pandemic, it could prove more popular this time.
Initiatives help build on ecommerce momentum
In its H1 results Carrefour reported growth of 70%, which saw it generate €1.1 bn in sales globally. The retailers said the pace of growth was driven by a surge in demand because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Carrefour, globally, increased its distribution capacity, through the addition of new click and collect points, in-store preparation areas and an acceleration of warehouse automation. New partnerships with Uber Eats and Glovo also contributed to improve delivery services. The initiatives will help support continued momentum in ecommerce growth.