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Carrefour and Google to open Paris AI and machine learning hub in March

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French supermarket giant Carrefour said it will open a new hub for experimentation in Paris with search giant Google in March.

The Carrefour Digital Hub, sited in the 13th arrondissement of Paris, will bring together 300 employees as well as digital teams from both companies.

The two companies will use the 2500 square metre space to experiment with technology such as artificial intelligence and machine learning.

Carrefour said the areas of activity for the hub will include the integration of data into group

activities, increase use of digital for omnichannel and becoming a more agile organisation.

The retailer signed a strategic agreement with Google in June to open the hub. According to a release in June it was originally slated for last summer but was then delayed for unspecified reasons.

Alongside other initiatives, Google is training over 1000 Carrefour employees and the company is moving staff onto Google products such as Gmail.

Amélie Oudéa-Castéra, executive director ecommerce, data and digital transformation of the Carrefour Group, said: “Our teams will work on innovative projects around Artificial Intelligence and machine learning techniques to create value for the business. The locals are also going to house some of the operational and IT teams in charge of the digital transformation that remains piloted at Massy. 

“All this is really an additional asset for Carrefour in the success of its digital ambition by 2022.”

In the wide-ranging Carrefour 2022 manifesto, announced in January of 2018, the French retailer outlined a series of programmes to adapt its organisation.

One plank of the strategy is a renewed focus on eCommerce, with the aim of becoming the “omnichannel universe of reference”. This entails investing €2.8 billion in digital and targeting €5 billion in food eCommerce by 2022.

Last month saw Carrefour partnering with analytics giant SAS to introduce automated software that will collect and process data from its stores, warehouses and ecommerce sites in order to better predict demand and refine supplier orders.

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