Auchan opened the first French experiment of its Auchan Minute at the end of March in the parking lot of its headquarters in Villeneuve-d’Ascq (Nord). This supermarket of a new kind, without cashier, remains open 24 hours a day.
The store offers nearly 400 references of “snacking”, but also products for troubleshooting hygiene, health and beauty. It is restocked every morning but works without any staff for the rest of the time.
This concept is already widespread in China where, since September 2017, the French group has installed more than 700. For the time being, in France, Auchan has reserved the first of its employees. The aim is to better identify the needs of consumers in this type of sale but also to test new means of payment.
Group employees can shop there using the company badge. This one allows to open the door of the supermarket, then to choose the articles by passing it on the label hanging on the shelf and finally to pay for its shopping.
Auchan says that this new concept is not intended to compete with physical stores but to offer new offers for example to businesses. But in this area, all the signs work in the same direction. Carrefour also planned to open an automated shop in Massy, to test with its employees.
In Villeneuve d’Ascq, this space of about sixty square meters should be riddled with cameras that will track purchases and payments from customers. A technology comparable to the one that Amazon has set up in the United States in its Amazon Go outlets, with the ambition to open more than 3,000 by 2021.