Shopping for groceries in France is about to get a transformational experience. Amazon announced on Monday that it was partnering with one of France's enormous grocery store chains, Monoprix, according to Reuters. Products will be sold to customers in Paris through Amazon's Prime Now service this year.
Amazon's partnership with the French grocery store chain is bound to have an impact. In addition, the joint venture will force the country's food retail industry to rethink its approach since the competition is about to get a lot more interesting.
Amazon a year ago acquired Whole Foods Market Inc. for $13.7 billion. Forbes reported that it signaled the company's diversification into the food and retail industry. The news of the acquisition forces French retailers to really focus on improving online offerings.
"'Thanks to this unique partnership between Amazon and Monoprix, Casino Group reinforces its omni channel distribution strategy,' Jean-Charles Naouri, chief executive of parent group Casino, said in a joint statement with Amazon."The U.S. online retailer wants to be a grocery delivery in France while expanding its global presence and business operations into the food retail market.
Officially Amazon is working with Monoprix, but it's also working with another French competitor. Leclerc, the country's largest food retailer in terms of market share, has linked in recent months with Amazon. As reported in the Reuters news release, Leclerc has run the Amazon Prime Now delivery service in Paris since 2016.Even though Amazon has attracted multiple partnerships, Monoprix retains the exclusivity. Monoprix's chairman, Regis Schultz, told France's Europe 1 radio station that Monoprix came away with a monumental victory.
As reported by France 24, France lags far behind the U.S. and Britain when it comes to online grocery sales. Also, the retail market industry is undergoing changes since the market has been overwhelmed by the growth of online and organic grocery sales.The news of the alliance received mixed reactions. For example, France 24 reports that the newspaper Le Figaro hailed the news as historic, while the French financial newspaper Les Echos wrote an article titled, "With Monoprix, Casino surrenders to the sirens of Amazon." Amazon is not the only American company interested in expanding into the French market. Costco, a wholesale chain of a membership-only warehouse, launched a retail location about a half-hour south of Paris. The initiative for the company was a natural choice. A Bloomberg report explains that the French are among the biggest retail spenders per capita in Europe.
It will be interesting to revisit later this year how business is evolving in France, as well as what sort of revenues Monoprix is able to generate in light of the collaboration with Amazon.