From global to local: Casino Group brings retail up to date

Over the years, French retail organization Casino Group has deployed a meticulous strategy of customer segmentation. Each of its brands of supermarkets, convenience stores, and other businesses are tailored to the needs of their customer base and geography, complementing one another and covering much of the total food retail market in France. This is one of the reasons the retail giant has been so successful nationally. But now with a foothold in Latin America and other parts of the world, it has an evolved global vision. The company is bringing its offer and approach into the new age, leveraging innovative partnerships, economic diversification, and digital reinventions.

One of the more striking developments of Casino’s strategy has been the recent asset monetization drive, underlined by a partnership with Quarnot Computing. In a bid to exploit underused warehouse space, the firm began a strategic arrangement covering the installation of new datacenters in a number of its storage facilities. Casino Group will generate revenue by charging rent and providing power through its eco-responsible energy subsidiary, GreenYellow. The operation will be run by the newly formed ScaleMax, a company owned jointly by Casino and Quarnot. In line with Casino’s view to modernize, even excess energy from the project will be put to use heating the warehouses and storerooms.

This is one of many new and surprising partnerships for Casino Group. The biggest headlines came when the firm announced last year a limited sales partnership between its brand Monoprix and Amazon Prime. Monoprix was the first major French food retailer to take on such a deal. In an interview with Reuters, Regis Schultz, the president of Monoprix, said that he was not only pleased that the arrangement had clearly brought in additional customers to his brand, but that the sales were roughly triple what had been expected, adding to the growing demand for Monoprix products ordered online.

Previous to this was Casino Group’s strategic partnership with Ocado, the UK-based online supermarket. Ocado granted Casino exclusive rights to use its powerful delivery software and automated warehouse robotics. As well as enhancing Monoprix’s current delivery capabilities, the two companies are working together to build a customer-fulfillment center (CFC) just outside of Paris. Monoprix and Casino management have high hopes that this will radically add to the competitive edge in the area of grocery home delivery, cutting preparation times and lifting revenues.

“This agreement is a major leap in terms of quality: 50,000 food items will be offered in the first stage to customers in the Greater Paris area with precise and speedy delivery at home and through a platform which makes it achievable to do this profitably,” Casino’s CEO, Jean-Charles Naouri said.

These strategic maneuvers have gone hand in hand with the deployment of a range of modern touches, with Casino Group’s many brands trying out innovations in mobile technology, delivery, and online payment. After collaboration with Lyf Pay in 2017, Casino group began rolling out tailor-made shopping solutions like its Casino Max app, beginning the move with its Geant hypermarkets and Casino supermarkets. The innovation integrates a loyalty scheme and payment service, as well as options for deferred payment and payment in installments. On top of this, there is Scan Express which allows customers to scan products with their phone in order to avoid queuing. The Monop’Easy app soon followed providing the service for Monoprix stores, and the company stated that it wishes to cover many of its other brands with similar solutions in the near future.

With an eye to staying at the front of tech retail innovations, Casino even unveiled a hi-tech concept supermarket in Paris near the Champs-Élysées. With an impressive and imaginative mix of digital technology and boutique retail experience, Le 4 Casino is definitely breaking new ground. The store is an example of how the firm is trying not only to engage customers through exciting new services and products, but also to experiment and uncover the solutions of the future in order to integrate them into its multi-brand, multi-channel strategy.

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