Casino: four proximity store innovations

Date : 19 April 2021

Jon Wright

Head of Insight - RA EMEA

As Casino looks to grow its presence and innovates with its proximity estate, we look at four new innovations being rolled out by the retailer in France.

Monoprix opens Pedestrian Drive in Paris

Following the format’s expansion by other retailers, Monoprix has opened its first Pedestrian Drive in Paris. The service will be for shoppers who have signed up to Monoprix Plus and will enable them to collect their online orders, while also providing a range of 600 SKUs to meet their top-up needs.

The 80 sq. m store, which is split between 50 sq. m of selling area and 30 sq. m of backroom space, will enable shoppers to order from the retailer’s full range of 28,000 SKUs online for collection. In-store shoppers will be able to buy from its range of snacking, drinks, fruits and vegetables, hygiene products and a few non-food items. The format is part of Monoprix’s aim to generate 15% of its turnover from ecommerce by the end of 2021.

Franprix aiming to grow its presence and sales in the suburbs…

As part of an interview in local trade publication LSA, Franprix’s managing director, Cécile Guillou, has discussed how the banner is aiming to grow in new areas, outside the country’s leading cities. Guillou said the new focus comes after a challenging 2020, when Franprix’s like-for-like sales grew by 7.1%, below the market average of 8.6%, due to fewer shoppers visiting its stores, but the average size of baskets growing strongly. She said the difference between stores in the centre of Paris, for example, struggled, but those outside the city centre and in the inner suburbs had performed well.

Guillou said Franprix was aiming to open 150 new stores over the next two years, the majority of which will be franchised. It will be targeting the large metropolises of Paris, Lyon, and Marseille. The change in focus will lead to an adaptation of its range, with more food-for-later and evening meals, rather than a focus on lunch. Guilou said the new stores will be under the same banner but will ‘not necessarily have the same offer’. Pricing will also differ by location, with Franprix operating seven different price levels across its estate presently, with franchisees able to set their own pricing.

Ecommerce will also be an area of growth, with Guillou saying sales doubled in 2020. To meet demand quicker, she said there was an aim to cut delivery times to 30 minutes, down from 45 minutes now. 80% of orders, of which there are 10,000 weekly, come through its app and enables shoppers to buy from a range of 5,500 SKUs. Franprix also enables shoppers to receive through Deliveroo, which is available from nearly 100 stores, where they can buy from a range of between 800 and 1,000 SKUs.

…As it tests selling more products by bulk

As part of a trial in four stores, which will last until May 2021, Franprix, FM Logistic, Bulk & Co, and Ilec have begun selling several products without packaging. In a recently updated store in Andrésy, which is in the Yvelines department, 34 SKUs are sold without packaging, many of which are branded, including Benenuts, Carambar, Carte Noire and Kellogg's, amongst others. Manufacturers supply their products to FM Logistic, who supply and refill the containers, which are supplied by Bulk & Co.

Naturalia grew sales 22% in 2020, sets out plans for 2021

Casino’s organic-focused banner Naturalia reported sales grew by 22% to €395m in 2020, which it said was twice the pace of the specialist organic market more widely. The retailer said sales growth has continued in 2021, with sales up 10% since the start of the year. The banner’s revenue places it as the number two organic specialist in France, after Biocoop. Naturalia ended 2020 with a network of 224 stores, 13 more than in 2019, following the opening of 14 stores. It said 20% of its stores are operated by franchisees. It is targeting the addition of a further 30 stores in 2021, of which 25 will be franchised. Naturalia has already acquired five former Bio c’Bon stores and seven more that are part of the BioCash network in 2021, which will underpin its expansion. The new stores will be in areas where it already operates and in new regions too.

After digital sales grew 150% in 2020 Naturalia is aiming to embed its omnichannel focus in 2021. To support this growth, it will partner with Ocado for home delivery, with the service to be launched in September 2021. Separately it will offer a delivery service with Amazon, given the different shopper missions they meet. To provide shoppers with a range of fulfilment options, Naturalia will also expand its Drive option, which is offered at two locations presently, and click & collect service, which is available from 67 stores.

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