PARIS — Carrefour France is tying up with Lafayette Plug and Play, the tech start-up accelerator launched last year by Groupe Galeries Lafayette and innovation platform Plug and Play, to foster open innovation in retail.
Through the agreement, Carrefour, the world’s second-largest retailer after Wal-Mart Stores, hopes to benefit from relationships with Lafayette Plug and Play’s ecosystem of start-ups, dedicated to fashion and retail, and participate in pilot projects in areas like robotics, supply chain and digital in order to support its domestic omnichannel growth. The start-ups that are part of the program, meanwhile, are expected to profit from Carrefour’s scale and experience as France’s biggest food retailer.
“Start-ups allow us to innovate in all retail areas, both upstream and downstream, and especially to offer our customers a better omnichannel shopping experience,” stated Carrefour France innovation director Arnault Gournac. “Through this partnership, we are pursuing our open innovation approach with a new dynamism that brings us closer to the best start-ups and helps our business to evolve.”
Through the partnership, meetings will be held on specific themes like in-store data analysis and use, and Carrefour’s innovation team will also have a role in selecting the start-ups chosen for the Lafayette Plug and Play program, which is currently recruiting candidates for its third intake.
“This partnership bears witness to the vocation of Lafayette Plug and Play to create a virtuous innovation ecosystem built around our professions, start-ups and major companies hand-in-hand, in order to transform the retail sector,” said Groupe Galeries Lafayette vice president of corporate development and innovation Edoardo Manitto.
Lafayette Plug and Play already counts companies including Maus Frères and C&A among its corporate partners.
The agreement was announced in tandem with the second edition of the Viva Technology Paris event, which brings together tech start-ups, major companies and potential investors here from June 15-17. Carrefour is demonstrating its open innovation strategy at the event, where it is the exclusive food and retail partner for the second time.