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Robots to boost Monoprix home deliveries

Monoprix has created a robotised e-commerce warehouse in partnership with the British company Ocado with the aim of boosting grocery home deliveries.

The company has opened a new 36,000 square metre warehouse in Fleury-Mérogis on the outskirts of Paris to offer an enhanced service to customers in Ile-de-France first.

Around 350 employees work in the warehouse with hundreds of robots whizzing around at 18kph to pick up the products as fast as possible. Using robots means an order of 50 products can be ready in six minutes.

The concept will later be extended in the Hauts-de-France region, with the company expecting to achieve a turnover of €500million before then opening other warehouses in the south of France.

President of Monoprix, Jean-Paul Mochet told French media, Le Figaro: “Ocado has developed an exceptional technology. We are going to be able to offer our customers the widest range of products on the market, with 50,000 items on offer, as well as real-time management of sell-by dates and delivery from the next day in a one-hour time slot.”

Most retailers have tried to convert consumers to home delivery for groceries but they represent only about 1% of food sales in France. The lack of popularity is often due to the cost of delivery which is deterring customers.

Currently, at Monoprix, delivery costs €5 for shoppers who spend €100-150 on products, and €10 for orders of less than €100. It is free for orders over €150.

Monoprix also sells its products on Amazon and Mr Mochet thinks that online shopping will become more and more important. He said: "Food e-commerce will grow significantly in the coming years. It could reach a 20% market share."

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