Europe: ecommerce developments

Date : 09 May 2019

As ICA, Colruyt and Migros Switzerland launch new initiatives and Leclerc adds further Relais stores, we look at developments in ecommerce from countries across Europe.

ICA to add prepared food delivery service

Sweden-based ICA has announced from autumn it will enable shoppers to receive express delivery of prepared meal solutions alongside their grocery orders. Initially the service will be made available from about 12 stores in the country and will enable shoppers to receive products within one hour of ordering. During the trial stage, ICA will use electric bikes to make the deliveries, but will ‘experiment with a range of delivery alternatives’ to try to discover what works best.

Commenting on the service, ICA Group’s chief executive, Per Strömberg, said: “Customers want more convenience, and this gives us an opportunity to reach customers who want a fully prepared meal, where ICA previously hasn’t been an option. We are currently conducting a pilot and plan to proceed with a broader launch at the same time that we continue developing the service by looking into various types of delivery and technology opportunities.

Colruyt to trial home delivery in Brussels

Belgium-based Colruyt, meanwhile, has begun a home delivery trial through its Collect&Go online shopping service in the eastern region of Brussels. The retailer said the trial would cover five municipalities: Woluwe-Saint-Pierre, Woluwe-Saint-Lambert, Kraainem, Wezembeek-Oppem and Sterrebeek. Colruyt stressed the trial was being launched to help it learn about ‘customer expectations and assessing the feasibility of the service, in order to set up a viable business model.’

The retailer said it had chosen the region ‘specifically because [it] believes there is enough consumer demand here and because of the proximity of our distribution centre in Zaventem’. Colruyt said it would operate the trial until autumn 2019, before it is reviewed. To take advantage of the service shoppers will have to buy goods more than €100 before midnight to receive their purchases the next day. Deliveries will be made using CNG delivery van in two-hour delivery windows between 16.00 and 21.00 on weekdays and on Saturdays from 08.00 to 12.00.

A fee of €9.50 will be charged for home delivery, while the standard fee of €5.50 will remain for the picking of the order. Commenting on the comparatively high fee for the order’s completion and delivery, Colruyt Collect&Go’s Tom Deprater said: “We’ve given the fee for home delivery a lot of thought. We believe that with this realistic fee we can create a feasible business model. The pilot project will show whether it is acceptable to customers and, at the same time, feasible for us. After all, we are shopping for the consumers and delivering it to their front door, which comes with a certain price tag.

Leclerc expands Relais solution as it focuses on last mile profitability

Meanwhile, France-based Leclerc as it and its members look to build a viable solution for the last mile that works for both it and shoppers is investigating opportunities with its Relais pedestrian Drive format. For more on this development, read our news story on one of its newest stores in Paris.

Migros to expand Click & Collect service

Switzerland-based Migros has announced it is to work with Swiss Post to offer a click and collect service at 300 stores. The collaboration will allow people to collect parcels sent through Swiss Post at a Migros store. The new click and collect service will be integrated into Migros’s existing PickMup solution.

Commenting on the new service, the head of PostNetz and a member of Swiss Post’s executive committee, Thomas Baur, said: “Migros, with its dense, nationwide branch network, is an ideal partner for us. We want to be where our customers are and this is what we can do best with this offer.

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