Amazon strengthens ties with French food retailer Casino

The extended partnership comes as Casino is selling assets and cutting debt to try to allay investor concerns over its finances. (Reuters)
Updated 23 April 2019
0

Amazon strengthens ties with French food retailer Casino

  • The move could re-ignite speculation of a bigger deal later on
  • The extended partnership comes as Casino is selling assets and cutting debt to try to allay investor concerns

PARIS: E-commerce giant Amazon and French retailer Casino are expanding their partnership, with Amazon installing pick-up lockers in Casino stores and more of the French company’s products to be available on Amazon.
The move, which follows an initial co-operation between Casino’s upmarket Monoprix supermarket chain and Amazon in Paris, could re-ignite speculation of a bigger deal later on.
An Amazon spokeswoman said it had a policy of not commenting on market speculation. Amazon’s purchase of bricks-and-mortar US food retailer Whole Foods Market last year has raised speculation it could seek to buy a European food retailer.
The extended partnership comes as Casino is selling assets and cutting debt to try to allay investor concerns over its finances and those of parent company Rallye.
The deal, unveiled on Tuesday, will see Amazon lockers installed in 1,000 locations across France in nine of Casino’s brands, including Monoprix, Monop, Geant, Hyper Casino, Casino Supermarche, Leaderprice, Viva and Spar by the end of the year. The lockers store Amazon products to be picked up by customers.
More Casino-branded products will also be available on Amazon, while Amazon and Monoprix will extend their partnership on Amazon’s Prime Now grocery delivery service outside Paris and into new cities in the next twelve months.
“This announcement represents a new step in strengthening Casino’s omnichannel strategy to always be a little more in the heart of consumers’ lives,” said Casino’s chief executive Jean-Charles Naouri in a statement.
Monoprix, seen by analysts as similar to Whole Foods, started filling orders for subscribers to Amazon’s Prime loyalty program in parts of Paris last September.
This partnership has been closely watched as Monoprix was the first French retailer to agree in March 2018 to sell products via Amazon, causing a stir in the fiercely competitive domestic market.
France is Amazon’s third largest market in Europe, after Britain and Germany. Amazon is the e-commerce leader in France with a market share of 17.3 percent, but its grocery market share stands at just 2 percent, according to Kantar data.
The US group, which has run its Amazon Prime express delivery service in Paris since 2016, has made no secret of its desire to launch a grocery delivery service in France as part of its ambitions to expand in food retail.
But the French supermarket sector has powerful incumbents such as Carrefour and Leclerc, operating at low margins and with a dense network of stores.
Earlier this week, Casino said it would sell 12 Casino hypermarkets and 20 supermarkets to Apollo Global Management in a deal worth up to €470 million ($529 million).


Tesla drops cheapest variants, pushing up prices in China

A man drives his electric car from Tesla Motors as he leaves an all-electric cars parking lot in Oslo on May 3, 2019. (AFP)
Updated 6 min 44 sec ago
0

Tesla drops cheapest variants, pushing up prices in China

  • The automaker said it expected production and deliveries to continue growing in Q3

BEIJING: Tesla Inc. has dropped the standard-range variants of its Model X and Model S from its product lineup and adjusted prices across its range, in a sales push that comes days after the US electric vehicle maker reported record deliveries.
To simplify its offerings, the automaker on Tuesday limited variants of its Model X sport-utility vehicle and Model S sedan to “Long Range” and the more expensive “Performance.” It also trimmed the price of its now entry-level Long Range variants.
The discontinuation of the standard-range variants, however, means a rise in starting prices — to $84,990 for the Model X and $79,990 for the Model S, excluding potential buying incentives. Tesla also lowered the starting price of its mass-market Model 3 to $38,990.
“To make purchasing our vehicles even simpler, we are standardizing our global vehicle lineup and streamlining the number of trim packages offered for Model S, Model X and Model 3,” Tesla said. “We are also adjusting our pricing to continue to improve affordability for customers.”

HIGHLIGHTS

• Drops standard-range variants of Model X and S.

• Move means entry X, S cars are pricier long-range variants.

• Tesla delivered record number of EVs in the second quarter.

• Tesla is building a plant in China initially for Model 3 cars.

Earlier this month, Tesla said global deliveries of its three models in the second quarter of this year rose 51 percent from the previous quarter to a record 95,200 vehicles. The Model 3 accounted for about 80 percent of the total, underscoring the vehicle’s role as the linchpin of Tesla’s growth strategy. The automaker said it expected production and deliveries to continue growing in Q3.
In China, the world’s largest market for electric vehicles, Tesla’s changes on Tuesday pushed the starting price of its Model X to 790,900 yuan ($115,068) and Model S to 776,900 yuan.