French Newspaper Le Monde reports that Amazon has been investigating the possibility of either buying a major French grocery concern or partnering with one to offer distribution and deals as it seems the ecommerce giant is ever more enamoured with getting its share of the global groceries market. Apparently there have already been several discussions with big players in the French grocery market that have so far come to nought.
Who’s in the picture? French company Casino, which owns Monoprix, is said to have been contacted. Le Monde quotes a source saying: “Casino does not intend to sell Monoprix.” Casino has made no official comment.
Other big firms including Intermarche, Systeme U and Carrefour have also reportedly been cited as possible acquisitions/partners but none have offered comment. Amazon too has remained silent as is entirely typical in these cases. But what seems obvious, and Le Monde would never have run the story otherwise, is that Amazon is on the hunt for some sort of incursion into the French grocery market.
There’s no doubt that Amazon sees household food shopping as a critical vehicle for growth in general. In the UK it’s said that they want to grab a fairly meagre 2% share of the supermarket action (which does, needless to say, tot up to a mighty sum) and has already done a deal with Morrisons and launched its Amazon Fresh and Amazon Pantry propositions. Although it’s not explicitly known how well these two enterprises have fared.
In the USA, the acquisition of Whole Foods for $13.7 billion does also seem to have whetted Amazon appetite further. Price cuts at the high end supermarket chain and other Amazon innovations (making Whole Food deliveries available via Prime) have been successful. Amazon seems most adept at applying its strategic focus to other businesses and winning out.
We’ll keep you posted.