My opinion on the new Monoprix at Forum des Halles

My opinion on the new Monoprix at Forum des Halles

Urban grocery and convenience store specialist Monoprix has recently opened a two-storey 2,800 square meter flagship store in the gigantic newly revamped Forum des Halles shopping mall in central Paris.

Here are the key takeaways:

  • Strategic departments such as beauty & healthcare, home decor and fashion are designed like inspiring shop in shop with their own look & feel.

  • In the food section, produce are showcased in clean and robust cabinets. Impulse buying is spurred through innovative offers.

  • Monoprix has installed many self-service and traditional checkout points throughout the store to accelerate the buying process.

  • A vast array of must-have relevant services for urban customers like click & collect, free delivery and free wifi are provided here. On top of that, the brand has announced a few other digital initiatives in the weeks to come.

  • What striked me as well is the unexpected high number of staff who can help and inform customers. In a French retail industry where staff overheads are usually meticulously controlled, Monoprix is taking the risk to invest on people. I do think that it will eventually result in better customer satisfaction and stronger sales.
  • To get the most of the insane football of the mall (40 M + visitors a year) Monoprix has designed an ambitious food offer through 2 distinct sections on both side of the store. A perfect example of the “grocerant” expertise of edgy urban supermarkets: a mix between a grocery shop and a restaurant.
  • On level -1, the place is dedicated to healthy food options with 2 kiosks offering sushis made on the spot alongside with fresh fruits and juices. A self service coffee machine and a buffet are also available. A comfortable dining room can accommodate around 30 guests.

  • On the ground floor, Monoprix is going a step further with a 200 sq m revisited traditional bakery which is worth a visit.

At the heart of the space, elegant squared refrigerated cabinets are showcasing beautiful homemade pastries.

Breads and viennoiseries are displayed on wooden shelves around the checkouts.

Monoprix capitalizes on its heritage on the French market to lure people into the place. A “Monoprix Since 1932” signage is delivering a positive message about trust and quality.

The dining room is spacious and light. Exterior terraces are also available. In a few months, new gardens around the forum des Halles will make the place even more pleasant.

The place is often packed with people enjoying money for value food proposition. I do believe that Monoprix might gain substantial marketshare over coffee shops competitors such as Starbucks with this concept in case the brand decides to roll it out on much larger scale.

As a conclusion, we already knew that Monoprix was ahead of its competitors in terms of quality and modernity, now the time has come for the brand to take the lead in service and comfort. To make a long story short, we should no longer consider Monoprix as an urban grocery store but as an urban lifestyle destination instead.