Carrefour opens Le Marche smart shop in Shanghai

The smart shop's opening extends the French retailer's tie-up with Tencent Group. Two Le Marche outlets will be opened in Shenzhen in the next several months. 
Carrefour opens Le Marche smart shop in Shanghai
Wang Yanlin

Consumers use the self-payment machine at the new Carrefour Le Marche store on Tianshan Road W. in Shanghai.

French retailer Carrefour on Sunday launched its innovative Carrefour Le Marche in Shanghai  as it extended its partnership with Tencent Group.

The smart shop, the first of its kind for Carrefour, features smart technology such as self-payment through the WeChat app, artificial intelligence for facial recognition to guarantee payment security, and self-checkout machine.

Le Marche means "market" in French.

Although it is half the size of regular Carrefour supermarkets at only 4,000 square meters, the Le Marche store offers a wider range of popular products -- fresh food, imported products and private-labelled products in particular.

“Le Marche is an innovation as China has become a laboratory to try out a new format of retailing,” said Carrefour China President and CEO Thierry Garnier. "With this shop, we hope to bring to consumers, especially the younger generation, the joy of shopping in a real store."

Garnier said two Carrefour Le Marche outlets will be opened in Shenzhen, where Tencent is headquartered, in the next several months.

In January, Carrefour signed a strategic agreement to collaborate with Tencent on sharing of data, payment technology, and consumer loans. Tencent has been reported to be seeking a minority stake in the French retailer's China unit.

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