Not long after bringing its Prime Now 1-hour delivery service to Paris, e-commerce giant Amazon revealed its plans to launch a grocery service in France.
In an interview with the Journal du Dimanche, head of Amazon France Frédéric Duval announced that its working on a service similar to Amazon Fresh. He did not comment on a specific timeframe.
Local supermarkets are willing to partner with Amazon
Despite Duval commenting, supermarket chain Système U has confirmed that discussions have started with Amazon about a supply deal. The Seattle-based e-commerce giant was reportedly exploring potential acquisitions in the French supermarket scene. This should come at no surprise after it bought Whole Foods in June 2017, focusing heavily on the grocery market.
With this announcement, Amazon confirmed its ambition to make France its country of choice for testing new services in Europe. In fact, this would be the first Amazon Fresh implementation outside of the United States. Last month, the e-commerce titan announced it’s planning on creating 2,000 jobs. It also settled a long-running €200 million dispute with the French tax authorities.
France is a pioneer in online grocery
Long before Amazon introduced Prime Now in Paris, France was already used to online grocery. This dates back to 2001, when supermarket chain Auchan launched the very first at-home grocery delivery service. Kantar reports that France is the second largest online grocery market in Europe.
At-home delivery is—however—not the preferred way to shop for groceries online in France. Reports show that click-and-collect “drive” systems are king, with an impressive 25% adoption rate country-wide. Back in 2004, grocery retailer Chronodrive launched the first drive-thru system in collaboration with Auchan. In comparison, US-based retailer Walmart launched its first click-and-drive system in 2014.
With such a mature market, it makes perfect sense for the American e-commerce giant to bring some additional competition to France.