Carrefour has unveiled a new convenience concept for its Express minimarkets dubbed "3 Minuti" (3 minutes). The 160 sq m store is located in the old town of Genoa (northern Italy) and enjoys extended opening hours. Alongside an expanded snacking offer, the store features a service counter for bakeries and coffee, as well as a plethora of services. Carrefour Italy's Head of Proximity Stores, Gabriele Di Teodoro stated: "It is a quite innovative format as it is no longer solely a supermarket, as we find here services which are normally not found there."
We note Carrefour Italy is scaling up its trials dedicated to catering for the different urban demographic groups. Last year, it already committed to foodservice with Eat&Shop – a 250 sq m concept store in Milan – and for 2017, the retailer appears to be exploring various more compact concept formats sized closer to 150 sq m.
Here in Genoa, Carrefour wishes to target a particular group of customers on the go: the tourists. Located in a street of the old town which links the heart of the city to the harbour, the retailer has added multiple relevant services for this segment: ATM, photo printing service, ticket purchase for the city main attractions, free wifi...
This comes just a few months after the retailer unveiled its "Urban Life" concept in Milan. In this case the target group was young people looking for a place to socialise in the lounge and sitting area, surrounded by the traditional sushi bar and the more unusual ice-cream or beer counters. In both case, we believe it is unlikely the concept will be widely rolled out, but some learnings and features may be duplicated to other stores, depending on the catchment area.
Carrefour is not alone in targeting this segment as the competition is also heavily leveraging hyper-central minimarkets as display windows for their private labels, special interest food, local specialities and convenience meals. We could name Conad’s Sapori&Dintorni, Pam Local and Fior di Crai, to name but a few.
These experimentations should eventually give Carrefour some fine tuning to attract different clients throughout the day at its minimarkets, beyond the core meal-time rushes. The snacking trend is Europe-wide and on the other side of the Alps, Carrefour has placed its bets on the more compact Bon App' foodservice stores and corners, featuring the dedicated eponymous snacking private label line.
With contribution from Retail Analyst Daniel Johansson.