Auchan, the third largest food retailer in France, has announced it will increase its product lines and range. It does this by launching a new online marketplace. For now, Auchan will focus on two main categories: food, which is the core of its business, and garden articles. The categories ‘high-tech’, ‘baby care’, ‘furniture’ and ‘toys’ should complement the marketplace by the end of this year.
Auchan is known primarily as a food retailer, but this is about to change as the French retailer has announced it will launch a range of new product categories later this year. The new marketplace is in partnership with Mirakl. Based on the SaaS technology of this French company, other retailers like Rue du Commerce, Pixmania and Darty have launched online marketplaces in the past. And now Auchan is Mirakl’s latest client.
The online marketplace is part of Auchan’s global strategy (it wants to expand its presence in China and Russia). “We select our sellers according to the quality of their products, their price and the respect of their commitment towards our customers,” says Denis Vanbeselaere, business director of Auchan ecommerce in France. “Choice has always been at the core of Auchan’s brand, and today’s choice is the web, and the marketplace. We want this XXL choice to be accessible to our customers, and our associates in the stores”, he says.
Increasing product selection without investment in storage
By using Mirakl’s platform, Auchan is able to select and manage its third party vendors, so the quality of service and the relevance of products with the Auchan brand can be guaranteed. According to Mirakl, choosing the marketplace model makes perfect sense for Auchan’s existing business. “In Auchan’s physical stores the customer already has the choice between Auchan’s products and other brands. The marketplace helps bring this model online, as well as increasing the product selection without investment in storage.”
The marketplace won’t be confined to just ecommerce. It will integrate with the company’s existing cross-channel strategy, so purchases and returns from the marketplace will be possible from the physical stores. Interesting to note is that in 2000, Auchan (called Auchan.fr since June of this year) was the first in France to start with drive-through services.