Economic review

Carrefour opens 'smart store' in Shanghai

2018-05-21 15:46:00 (Beijing Time)


Two customers head for the exit after shopping at a 24-hour Carrefour supermarket in Shanghai. (Photo provided to China Daily)

European supermarket giant Carrefour opened a brand new store format in Shanghai on May 20 ― Carrefour Le Marche, meaning "market", a smart store that focuses on imported products and on-site dining with purchased food, and digital innovations that allows consumers to self-checkout.

Thierry Garnier, CEO of Carrefour China, said the company is opening two such stores in Shenzhen, renovated from existing stores.

Covering 4,000 square meters and two floors, the Shanghai Tianshan store is smaller than hypermarkets, which are usually over 8,000 square meters. It hosts more than 25,000 different products.

The imported products ratio in the store is 20 percent. Food accounts for more than 80 percent of the total products. Private label products are mainly concentrated in the food sector, ranging from beverages and alcoholic drinks to chocolate biscuits.

The store offers an on-site cooking area where Japanese and Hong Kong cuisine are cooked on-demand, along with barbecue.

Thanks to the support of Tencent, which reached an agreement with Carrefour this January to form a strategic partnership, Carrefour Le Marche has many new digital innovations, including nine self-service checkout machines. Face recognition payment and scan and go will also be adopted in the store. The Le Marche store marks the first major change since Carrefour joined the Tencent retail influenced group.