We visited one of the newest Leclerc drive piéton (pedestrian drive) to see how the retailer is testing new services, including a food-to-go (FTG) counter. The new concept has been created by Leclerc hypermarket owner Thomas Pocher, who created the very first Leclerc pedestrian drive in France in 2016.
Source: IGD Research
Offering more services and testing food-to-go
Pocher currently owns three pedestrian drives in Lille. We visited the latest one, opened in October 2019, located near the city centre and close to several universities. It offers various services adapted to local shoppers (mainly students), such as small appliances rental, Amazon lockers and book sharing. But the biggest innovation is the introduction of the FTG counter.
Source: IGD Research
Fresh food-to-go supplied by a ghost kitchen
The serviced counter has an assortment of around 30 products, including salads, sandwiches and food to heat such as pasta and pizzas. Sandwiches are made at the counter to ensure freshness.
All food products are prepared in a ghost kitchen, which also supplies other drives and hypermarkets. It is located 20 minutes outside of Lille in the dark store that prepares click and collect orders all day long. The dark store delivers to the pedestrian drives six times a day. It offers convenience for shoppers as well as the opportunity to supply additional FTG products for the counter during the day if needed.
A potential disruptor for urban grocery retailers
The new concept could be a major disruptor of the urban retail landscape and the way shoppers do their grocery shopping. It blends several successful and on trend channels and services, such as grocery and non-grocery ecommerce, food-to-go and rental services.
In addition, it’s an opportunity for Leclerc to enter city centres where it didn’t have any presence. The much larger assortment and low prices, versus city centre stores, makes it very competitive and appealing to shoppers. It could also be a strong competitor to other FTG specialists thanks to the freshness of its products and the low price points.