Carrefour Brasil is planning to accelerate the opening of standalone, autonomous stores under the Express banner in residential condominiums.
Speaking to daily O Estado de Sao Paulo, Carrefour Brasil's proximity director, João Gravata, said that the retailer is set to invest more in the rollout of this new store model.
He did not reveal, however, the value of the retailer's investment, nor how many stores will be opened.
Gravata said that the majority of stores would be located in the Greater São Paulo area.
Development Of Autonomous Stores
Carrefour started developing the autonomous store project prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Originally, the plan was to install these spaces in corporate environments. With the health crisis and the increase in working from home, the plan was modified and became focused on residential condominiums.
The first two standalone stores were opened in December 2020 – one in a residential condominium and the other in a co-working space.
Today there are 14 standalone stores in operation, of which half opened a month ago. Of the total, 12 are located in residential condominiums.
There are no plans to expand the stores to other states, although Gravata admits that Carrefour Brasil wants to have stand-alone stores in major urban centres in Brazil.
Small Sized Stores
Due to the small size (15-50 square meters) of these outlets, the investment in a stand-alone store can be one-tenth of the cost of a conventional Carrefour Express store located on the street.
Carrefour is not a pioneer in this area, however – local supermarket chain Hirota debuted in the independent store segment in residential condominiums in July 2020.
The chain currently has 70 units in operation and plans to open 52 more this year.