Carrefour – A Special Planet

Carrefour recently launched two concept stores in the area of Lyon France exploring a change in strategy from an “everything under one roof” hypermarket towards more of a multi-specialist operation.

In the process of designing the store Carrefour interviewed more than 50,000 households in France to determine how it is they like to shop, and what they’d like to see.

The result: Carrefour Planet

Highlights of the new stores include:

  • A Beauty section inspired French heavyweight Sephora offers 9,000 SKUs as well as services like a nail bar, rapid make-up and hair styling.
  • A frozen food department inspired by Picard, another French specialist, is near checkouts allowing customers to finish their shopping here and pay for their goods before things start to defrost.
  • An organics section offering similar presentation and selection to that of France’s largest organic specialist, Bioplanet.
  • Merchandising in the home section clearly inspired IKEA.
  • A “market-style” fresh foods section that covers more than 8000sqft
  • A media section that leverages partnerships with Apple, and outsources the cultural component to Virgin in hopes of drawing in more young shoppers.

And perhaps most interestingly, in a market not known for its customer service, Carrefour Planet has added a childcare area where, for a nominal fee, they’ll look after your kids while you shop. This type of service represents a major attitudinal shift for French retailers, and it will be interesting to see how shoppers receive it.

-Contributed by Ian Whitney, Integer Paris