French supermarket giant Auchan launches online marketplace with Mirakl

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Auchan, France’s third largest food retailer and the 11th biggest in the world, is to increase its product lines and range with the launch of a new online marketplace in partnership with Mirakl.

Auchan is known primarily as a food retailer, but will launch later this year a range of a new product categories: high tech, baby products, toys and furniture. Instead of trying to increase its offering on one particular product category, Auchan’s plans for the marketplace are linked to a global strategy which places the Auchan brand at the core of its proposition. Auchan therefore needed a marketplace platform that was scalable, easy to use and could guarantee the quality of service of sellers and whether the products fitted with the Auchan brand.

“We select our sellers according to the quality of their products, their price and the respect of their commitment towards our customers,” said Denis Vanbeselaere, business director of Auchan e-commerce, France. “Choice has always been at the core of Auchan’s brand, and today choice is the web, and the marketplace. We want this XXL choice to be accessible to our customers, and our associates in the stores.”

Mirakl’s platform allows Auchan to select and manage its third party vendors, enabling the supermarket to guarantee the quality of service and the relevance of the products with the Auchan brand. Furthermore, choosing the marketplace model makes sense for Auchan’s existing business. In Auchan’s stores the customer already has the choice between Auchan’s products and other brands – the marketplace helps bring this model online, as well as increasing the product selection without investment in storage.

Not confined to e-commerce business, the marketplace will integrate with Auchan’s cross-channel strategy by connecting to the stores, where purchases and returns from the marketplace will be possible, strengthening one unique brand universe.

“For any retailer in 2015 it is essential to return to the fundamentals of e-commerce, by focusing on the customer and offering them the best products at the best price with the best quality of service,” said Adrien Nussenbaum, co-founder, Mirakl. “By increasing its product offering with selected third-party vendors on an online marketplace, Auchan is doing exactly that.”

Mirakl recently closed a $20m Series B round of funding, a deal led by noted investors such as 83North’s Laurel Bowden (an investor in firms such as hybris, Just Eat and Notonthehighstreet), Felix Capital’s Frederic Court and Dave Strohm, Partner at Greylock.  Mirakl has offices in France, the UK and North America, and now numbers more than 50 customers, with other recent customer wins including Best Buy, GAME and Halfords.