Pedestrian drives are multiplying in the center of Orléans

Leclerc had been the first on Orleans to open its pedestrian drive, it was in the summer of 2020. But, since then, it has been largely caught up and overtaken by its competitor Auchan. In less than a year, since May 2021, the group has opened three pedestrian drives: rue Bannier, Faubourg Bannier and more recently, place du Châtelet.

These new local shops make it possible to pick up, on foot or by bike, orders placed online or to do some emergency shopping (water, sugar, milk or cake). More than a fad in the trade, it’s a basic trend, with, in the background, competition between all the major retailers. For its part, Auchan has set itself the goal of having 300 pedestrian drives throughout the territory.

The phenomenon has accelerated with the health crisis

According to Amélie Jean, development and management consultant for distribution and retailthe phenomenon of pedestrian drive-thru began to settle in slowly before the health crisis and since then it has accelerated to reach a younger and more urban clientele.“Clearly, it responds to consumers who no longer want to go too much to supermarkets on the outskirts for health reasons and who also prefer to limit their car trips for ecological and financial reasons. This may be the case for young couples living in the city center. The drives also target students who do races piecemeal.

The goal for them is always to make volume and numbers

For large retailers, who had already noticed a drop in attendance in these hyper and supermarkets before the health crisis, Pedestrian drives also help maintain market share. ” Clearly, it costs them less to rent or buy a business in the city center than to build a store on the outskirts and the goal is always to increase volume and turnover.“analyzes Amélie Jean. It must also be said that in recent years, he has become more complicated for large retailers to find land to open stores near major cities. And for a supermarket like now a car drive, the opening request must pass before the departmental commission for commercial equipment.

When the pedestrian drive almost looks like a convenience store

In this war of pedestrian drives in Orléans, Auchan has taken the advantage. Its last store, opened in mid-March, Place du Châtelet is more than just a pedestrian drive. He looks like a convenience store with fresh bread, fruit and vegetables, an alcohol section. ” This is the opportunity of the local “ precise the manager of the Auchan store in Saint-Jean-de-la-Ruelle, which supplies the 3 center drives. ” We didn’t necessarily want such a large area but the layout was good so we fitted out the whole“. Only this convenience store in the very center of Orléans, with supermarket prices, could overshadow other merchants, in particular Les Halles.

Showcase of the pedestrian drive Place du Châtelet © Radio France
Patricia May

We are not at all on the same quality and one does not preclude the other” respond Luc Nantier, deputy mayor, in charge of trade. ” One can imagine a customer who comes to stock up on water or milk at the drive-thru and treats himself to a treat at Les Halles on Sundays. In any case, it allows to create flow and attendance in the city center“. So, competition or complementarity? We will see that in time. But, pedestrian drives already have a head start on many other local shops: they are open every day and for some until 9 p.m. in the evening.

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