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Carrefour online food sales hit €1.2 billion in 2018 amidst omnichannel pivot

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France-based retailer Carrefour has confirmed a goal to net €5 billion in food ecommerce sales by 2022 after the category grew strongly last year.

The supermarket chain revealed online food sales hit €1.2 billion in the year, up over 30%.

Overall, Carrefour saw group sales rise 1.4% throughout the year to reach €88 billion.

CEO Alexandre Bompard said the year had seen an “unprecedented transformation”.

He said: “Our encouraging results now allow us to revise upwards a number of 2022 targets. We continue to revitalise our commercial policy, with a strong push in favour of purchasing power and food quality.

“We are adapting our formats, especially hypermarkets, and accelerating the deployment of our growth formats and a benchmark omnichannel offer. And we continue to improve our operational efficiency. For Carrefour, 2019 will be a year in which we will deepen the initiatives of the 2022 plan, to better serve our customers.”

Major initiatives during the year included the launch of single websites in each of its markets. Carrefour also developed digital order preparation tools to improve service rate, speed and cost of picking.

The retailer wants to move towards a more omnichannel model which is less reliant on large stores.  Carrefour hopes to cut store space by 400,000 square metres by 2022 and has been experimenting with store locations that supplement a small range with online services.

For example, a new Paris store opened in December features a consciously limited selection of fast-moving consumer goods: 4500 compared to the usual 8000 that a Carrefour City store usually stocks. However, a further 10,000 products are available via the online store, as the location features one of Carrefour’s Drive collection points. Customers can also order items from the store to be delivered to their home, as well pick up parcels.

It has 1,616 Drive sites, which allow customers to pick up online orders, worldwide at end 2018 and 51 pedestrian Drives in France as of the end of February.

The company recently began offering deliveries on Sundays in Brussels.

This month sees the retailer open the Carrefour Digital Hub with Google, where it will investigate the use of technologies such as machine learning. 

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