According to a report in Reuters, the extended partnership may prompt speculation that the two could engage in a larger alliance down the road. A spokeswoman for Amazon declined to comment to Reuters. The acquisition of Whole Foods Market, however, has prompted talk Amazon could make a big food retailer buy in Europe, noted the report.
The deal does come at a time when Casino is selling off assets and slashing its debt to alleviate concerns on the part of investors about the food retailer’s financial results and that of its parent company Rallye. This week Casino said it plans to sell 12 Casino hypermarkets and 20 supermarkets to Apollo Global Management in a $529 million deal.
Under the extended partnership, Amazon will place lockers in 1,000 Casino branded stores in France including Monoprix, Monop, Geant, Hyper Casino, Casino Supermarche, Leaderprice, Viva and Spar. All of the locker installations will be completed by the end of this year. Amazon and Monoprix will also expand a partnership for grocery delivery beyond Paris during the next year. “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 to the Financial Times.
The partnership between Amazon and Casino has been closely followed by industry players, analysts, and investors. Monoprix last year became the first retailer in France to sell via Amazon. France is the third biggest market for Amazon in Europe with the UK and Germany ahead. Its market share in eCommerce in France stands at 17.3 percent but in groceries, it’s market share is tiny in France at just 2 percent. It has long had plans to launch a delivery service in France, noted the report.