CGI. “Improve the shopping experience by spending less time in the store.”
As the crisis retreats, a gradual retail recovery is giving rise to different concerns, fresh expectations and new consumption patterns. Arnaud Cartigny, Vice-President of Retail Consulting at CGI, explains in more detail to Global Retail News with an exclusive interview.
Sophie Baqué: How are customers’ consumption patterns changing?
Arnaud Cartigny: New customer behaviour seen over the last 2 months, during the acute period of the lockdown, tend to continue. This is especially the case for hypermarket traffic, which has fallen sharply since mid-March, with business grabbed by convenience stores. Hypermarkets are not returning to pre-crisis level of income, and I believe this fall will continue. Auchan is particularly exposed. Carrefour and Casino are also fragile but counterbalance this trend with revenue from local formats. Intermarché will continue to perform well because all stores are already able to offer ‘click & collect’ services and it has more supermarkets than hypermarkets. Moreover, ‘click & collect’ is certainly exploding, but this does not compensate for losses at hypermarkets. For food retailers, there is a real positioning issue. To take advantage of ‘click & collect’ growth, they must deliver operational excellence to protect profitability.
S.B.: How can retailers optimise profitability of ‘click & collect’?
A.C: It is a critical positioning worry. Retailers must offer the right products by adapting their offers. Sales of organic products have exploded alongside higher quality of service, by increasing e-commerce collection times. Home delivery is also an important focus. This is a new competitive edge because, unlike for ‘click & collect’, France does not yet have a comprehensive delivery network. A new initiative is where Carrefour launched collaborative delivery with ‘Uber Eats’ to attract new customers. Players like Glovo or Stuart are useful for large-scale deployment. Such services are more scalable than traditional companies and can expand very quickly.