In the age of digital commerce, does the city shop still make sense?
V.M. Yes, if we avoid the trap of pitting digital against physical, thinking that one will win out over the other. We need to think of both as a continuum of services.
This will enable shops to reinvent themselves to meet local demand – our customers must be able to find everything in one click and in one step.
How does the installation of shops fit in with the city?
V.M. A shop should be in tune with the city, therefore we must remain attentive to urban developments. Transport is of course a key indicator, as it shapes the city by creating new flows and simplifying travel.
Our shops reflect these changes: a Monoprix located at the exit of a metro station will not offer the same experience as a large store in the suburbs.
“The flows created by transport provide essential data for the design and layout of our shops.”
But isn’t there a risk of making shops all the same and, by extension, cities?
V.M. That would be the easy way out, and we avoid it! Shops today need to fit in with their surroundings. In Lille, for example, the Monoprix entrance features the brick architecture typical of northern France.
This is not about mere aesthetic details: the residents of a neighbourhood are very attached to their local Monoprix. We want them to feel at home, from entrance to checkout, not forgetting food counters.
What is the true role of local shops in 2022: offering a wide selection? A rare selection? Diversifying into other services?
V.M. All three! Depending on the city and the neighbourhood, our customers have access to mini local shops, such as those we have opened in RATP stations, and also to flagship stores with a large variety of products.
Nevertheless, there is a basic trend common to these various approaches: the shop should be a forum for services and life in the neighbourhood.
How would you define the ideal shop for the city of today?
V.M. It should first and foremost be accessible and connected to the daily life of its customers. It should also be functional to enable customers to find what they are looking for in terms of both “best value” ranges and a more premium offer.
On a social level, shops must make everyone feel welcome and provide customers with personalised advice. Lastly, shops should implement sustainable practices so that our urban customers can improve their consumer habits.