Carrefour Goes Gourmet in Chic Parisian Neighborhood

Carrefour Goes Gourmet in Chic Parisian Neighborhood

Even though Carrefour is still struggling with its hypermarket format to adapt it to the new retail environment, the French retailer has been pretty innovative over the recent years with its proximity formats such as “Market” or “City“.

A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to experience the Carrefour City new concept, an urban convenience store that is worth the visit (see my article here) as well as a first iteration of a “Gourmet” version of Carrefour Market in Paris (read my post here).

Today, let’s explore a new version of the “Gourmet” version of Market that recently opened in an upscale neighborhood in Paris. The 2-storey, 2,300 square meter store is located on the ground floor and the basement of a residential building in the 7th district of the French capital.

As it is often the case in an urban environment, the store had to deal for years with multiple obstacles before being able to open. Here, the premises are literally cut in half by a metro station. As a consequence, it is pretty unclear for shoppers to figure out where the actual entrance is. On top of that, the local authorities prohibit both outdoor signage and shopping carts outside on the sidewalk. As you may have guessed, there is no parking available either. Challenging environment to say the least.

To get the most out of this location, Carrefour has partnered with Schweitzer retail design agency with whom it has already opened Gourmet stores in Italy, Spain and Morocco. The Italian agency has been renowned for being a high-end grocery store specialist. In France, Schweitzer drew attention a few years ago for having designed the grocery section of Le Bon Marché luxury department store .

Let’s explore the store now. By the entrance, there is a comprehensive attention grabbing fresh produce area to lure customers in. A fruit kiosk is welcoming you with some fresh snacks and juices. A coffee kiosk with tables and chairs has also been installed but, unfortunately, it is too cramped to really invite people to take a comfortable break.

The fruits and vegetables section is eye-catching and clearly sets the tone for the rest of the fresh produce area.

Thus, the other produce sections come also in an elegant and impactful staging. The butcher and fishmonger stalls are easily noticeable thanks to their beautiful mosaic back walls.

The “gourmet” dimension of the store is also embodied through some high quality range of products and catchy visual merchandising.

Most of the cabinets have been tailor made. As a consequence, shoppers have the feeling to navigate into a more refined and impulse buying environment than the “average” Market store concept rolled out throughout France.

Carrefour devoted a generous space to wine and liquors where visitors can easily take time to make up their mind.

A sushi kiosk operated by Sushi Daily (500 kiosks in Europe) is also available to provide shoppers with a ready-to-go meal option, not to mention the quality-reassuring experience to see fresh sushi made on the spot by professionals.

Carrefour has also introduced some innovative services such as a “concierge” service powered by French start-up Lulu dans ma Rue as well as a collection point for parcels.

In line with the nationwide Carrefour convenience store strategy, the shop is encouraging its clients to discover Carrefour’s dedicated websites to have access to a comprehensive range of products online. And spur them to go omnichannel.

The store features two checkout areas with numerous compact checkout points to provide the most frictionless service possible to its urban customers.

The basement is home of staple products. Customers can get there with their shopping carts using the escalator equipped with a trolley rail.

Quite surprisingly, there is more room and space in the basement than on the ground floor. The zone is so deep and cluttered that Carrefour is trying to invite customers to walk around the whole place following the ramp lighting on the ceiling.
Low shelves on the central part of this space would have been much appreciated though to offer more visibility and help shoppers to navigate more easily. But, obviously, Carrefour was not ready to reduce, even slightly, its assortment.
In this very functional space, the beauty section is one of the few product offers to benefit from an enhanced staging through specific lighting and some tailor made furniture.
As the store cannot accommodate its clients with an underground car park, delivery service is crucial to business. That’s why a dedicated area for delivery has been installed in the basement where shoppers can leave their full carts and come out of  the store with their hands free.
Since the opening, the store has been very popular. Considering the exceptional quality of the catchment area and the lack of agressive competitors nearby, this Carrefour Market should be able to reach outstanding results, between €10,000 to €12,000 euros per square meter, 30% more than average urban supermarkets. The efforts deployed by Carrefour to make this store come true will probably be amply rewarded.