In Italy, CARREFOUR is experimenting new solutions linked the opening hours, the electronic orders and appreciation of all that is “freshness and integrity of food.”
Guest Columnist, Antonello Vilardi, ITALY – RETAIL WATCH
In Annecy, in 1959, two Frenchmen named Marcel Fournier and Louis Defforey founded what would become the second company in the world for sales in Large Retail Food, a colussus that has the absolute primacy in Europe and operates even in Brazil, Argentina, Asia and North Africa.
The Carrefour proposal uses numerous sales channels, the most characteristic of wich is the “hypermarket”, where many products are presented at low pricesunder one roof, where therefore the assortment breadth and depth combine in a balanced formula for service and convenience.
The store located in Turin (Italy), in Corso Turati nr. 75, significantly espresses an evolution undertaken by this retailer, a route on wich Carrefour runs at high speed, on the basis of solid skills rooted in the French managers, big resources and modern organizational structure.
In Italy, the new configuration chosen to propose the hypermarket format, as is clear from the case of Turin, takes at least six distintive points:
1. Click and collect.
This option allows to do “shopping on line” and collect “in store”, it admits the convenience to excercise choice without having to enter into the physical store and the advantage then to make use of inside lane to save time.
A retailer can realize the benefits of satisfying the very demanding resource of time, coming from those customers able to orient themselves in the endless possibilities offered by technology and virtual reality; the same retailer can simultaneously organize more effectively the management of stocks.
This is not an alternative to the traditional sales channel, but a supplementary service.
2. Opening continued seven days on seven, even at night.
The maximum opening time extension can determine the growth of sales opportunities and develop situations able to intercept new consumption objectives.
3. Sushi daily.
Sushi is a product able to satisfy the needs of practicality and freshness: it lends itself to particular settings, where the typical preparation urges considerable curiosity.
4. Self scanning.
The efficiency of cash desks is increased by technical equipments where users scan products, pay and go away.
The benefits on the “hourly workforce productivity” and “personnel costs” are widely presumed in the short term, but obviously there are high costs related to this type of solution.
5. Enhancement of “superfresh” and “organic” areas.
Fruit and vegetables, butcher, fishmonger, bench cutting-cheeses and deli meats have higher profitability; these departments are able to positively stimulate the perceptions of quality and freshness, nevertheless consolidate loyalty.
From this premise, Carrefour operates very hard to dramatize spaces and the same effort is made to emphasize the organic merchandise assortments, with special areas, separate from the rest of the departments.
There is even a local organic proposal, which is headed by “Centrale del Latte di Torino”.
6. Input of the store assigned to fruit and vegetables.
The initial impact of the store is built around very accurate image.
The French retailer, in this case, seems to recognize that the visibility of the promotions is better ensured in the immediate vicinity of the departments concerned, in special areas, while the image of fruit and vegetables, luxuriantly exposed in the meticulous care of shape and colors, is the most valuable of instruments in order to accomodate, seduce and retain a customer base.