A window displaying order pickers at work, a reception area for picking up fresh products… Mon-marché.fr, the home delivery service created by the primeurs division of Grand Frais stores, opened on Tuesday in Puteaux ( Hauts-de-Sena) a delivery site, far from the “dark stores” that have generated controversy in recent months.
Criticized by many elected, mainly Parisians, the “dark stores”, these warehouses where everyday products ordered over the internet are stored and delivered in a few minutes at home, are operated by “fast trade” companies – Getir, Flink, Gorillas or Cajoo.
They are accused, inordinately, of favoring the arrival of “warehouse cities”, of bothering local residents, or even of exploiting the “lazy economy”.
But home delivery of food products is identified as a real need for many consumers, and more and more players are trying to meet it.
“Mon-marché.fr” is one of them. Like the “Grand Frais” brand, which has 278 stores in France, it has positioned itself in fresh products, offering delivery of around “2,000 fresh and groceries”, tomato, cheese, meat or squid.
Where “quick traders” aim for emergency purchases, fresh produce is more intended to be cooked with a more upscale global offering than traditional mass distribution that targets families or older consumers.
“It’s not the same job,” says Carlos Pichel, director of innovation at Prosol, Grand Frais’s fruit, vegetable, fish and dairy division.
This does not reveal the average basket or turnover for this site. But in June, the co-founder of online food trading site La Belle Vie, Paul Le, who places himself in a similar niche, told AFP to register average baskets of 80 euros, against around 20 for “fast traders”.
However, the higher the order value, the more it amortizes its preparation and delivery, activities that are time-consuming and, therefore, costly for companies.
– Car parks and old garage –
Present in Ile-de-France since March 2020, “mon-marché.fr” differs from the fast merchants who have installed their delivery warehouses in commercial establishments, which is contrary to the urban planning code.
The site partnered with Indigo, the former Vinci Park, which sought to convert part of its parking spaces left vacant by reducing car traffic in the capital.
His “taste HQ”, inaugurated on Tuesday in Puteaux, occupies an old garage to allow customers to “discover the backstage of the preparation of their orders with total transparency”, according to Carlos Pichel.
Large windows allow you to see the 25 order pickers busy around the fresh produce from the street, then the plastic crates to be transported on conveyor belts to the refrigerated cabinets where the 35 bicycle couriers collect them. And some tables and armchairs are also provided for customers who prefer to pick up their order.
For his first order this Sunday, Michael had fish, cheese, fruit and vegetables delivered for just over 40 euros. Residing near Nation, east of Paris, the 30-year-old man who does not wish to be identified has just been delivered by another Mon-marché.fr warehouse located in Vincennes.
Verdict from new customer: “seems cheaper to me than in store, arrived in good time, at 6:20 pm for an order placed at 4:30 pm, and the tomatoes appear to be in good condition”.
The brand, which currently delivers in central Paris and in some suburban cities such as Boulogne-Billancourt, Puteaux, Suresnes, Vincennes or Saint-Mandé, “hopes” to be able to supply all Parisian neighborhoods by the end of 2023, according to Carlos Pichel.
Since 2017, Prosol has been majority-owned by the Ardian investment fund, as well as by its founder Denis Dumont, a Lyon-based businessman residing in Switzerland. The entity claims more than two billion euros in revenue for the 2021 financial year.