Inside Carrefour & Tesco

2018-04-24 –

When designing their flagship and next generation stores, retailers test new concepts and formats before they are rolled out. The ‘Carrefour of the future’ is located in Villiersen-Bière on the outskirts of Paris, while Tesco tests its new Eastern European formats in Prague. Both retailers take a different approach: Carrefour focuses on the shopper experience, Tesco on efficiency.


At 25,000sqm the Carrefour store is the largest hypermarket in Europe. Inside, shoppers experience different worlds – from organic to freshness to beauty. From Monday to Thursday Carrefour serves around 6,000 customers daily, while Fridays and Saturdays see 10-12,000 shoppers each spending on average € 60-70. This is considerably higher than other locations, in part due to the clientele, which consists of educated professionals with higher incomes. These target shoppers, according to store manager Aurélie Barata, have been waiting for this type of store proposition.


The new Carrefour concept puts the shopping experience first. All promotional elements are designed to present products and brands to best effect, with gondola headers often being created by category leaders. Carrefour uses geo-localisation to help customers find their way around the store quickly; an app can guide shoppers to desired products. Additional product information can be supplied via digital signage, integrating new technology with the atmosphere of a market. Weakening non-food categories have been reduced in favour of a broad range of food products.


The British retail group Tesco is the world's number three after Walmart and Carrefour. Tesco is the market leader in its home country Great Britain, and the company is also particularly strong in Eastern Europe. The retail company operates a flagship store in Prague's Letnany shopping centre. The store, open 24/7 throughout the year, impresses not just with its size and wide range of goods but also its multitude of sales romotions and use of the latest technology. On a Monday to Thursday, around 5,000 customers visit the store each day, rising to 8,000 from Friday through Sunday. Already, 7% of customers self-scan using the handheld scanners provided, while 5% currently pay by smartphone. Over the next few years, both figures should increase to 50%. The rationale behind this is simple: efficiency. For the same reason, Tesco requires its suppliers to deliver products in shelf-ready packaging so they can be placed on shelf more quickly. 85% of displays are delivered flat, assembled by merchandisers and filled with stock. Doing this helps Tesco ensure that once the campaign is over, few leftover goods remain in store that cannot be stored on shelf.. In store, shoppers will notice lots of people pushing huge, compartmentalized shopping trolleys down the aisles. This is no bulk shop for the weekend, but staff picking groceries for online customers. These online purchases can be collected from the store or delivered to your home. “COM-Shopper" sales are around four times as high as those of traditional customers.

Different approach, same goal

As different as these two stores are in terms of design, the focus on shoppers and their needs is clear in both concepts. With harmonious and appealing product presentation, they are the clear antithesis of internet shopping.