Connected, autonomous and open 24 hours, Api is revolutionizing the village grocery store

Rising gasoline costs, the rise of telework, the democratization of digital… General Manager Marie-Laure Bassett admits it: there was a “planetary alignment” when launching Api, a brand new idea of autonomous and linked mini-markets in rural areas, with the thought of ​​imports from Sweden. is finished.

Conceived by (*24*) Nau, Alex Grammatico and Jean Luc Treillou, Api opened its first level of sale in Claix (Charente) just a few days in the past. The ambition is to reinvent the comfort store. “We can dream of it, however the conventional mannequin of the village grocery store now not works, analyzes Marie-Laure Bassett, so we now have to search out different options to revitalize the rural sector. And this idea is a 40 m2 cell dwelling providing 700 product references, accessible 24 hours a day, 7 days every week with a QR code that permits the door to be opened with fee by bank card.

Accessible value

An agricultural engineer, Marie-Laure Bassett has spent twenty-five years in the meals business, an setting she is aware of inside out, via her expertise as Marie (cooking meals) and Room Savers (offering trays of meals for the firm). He shortly concluded that the idea of Api might solely work by counting on heavyweights and attaining economies of scale.

“We are partnering with a frontrunner in the manufacture of cell properties and with Carrefour for merchandise, as a result of it turned clear to us in a short time that with a view to provide these shops, we’d like a big retailer able to managing the provide and logistics. Every level of sale. We Affordable costs are additionally wanted, as this is one in every of the causes for the failure of village grocery shops, which are sometimes compelled to cost greater costs than supermarkets. »

Target municipalities should have not less than 750 inhabitants

After opening the first store, “We wish to arrange shops in clusters of 5, that are extra enticing from a logistical perspective. This will permit us to take care of an economically viable comfort store mannequin. “Api is concentrating on Charente and Charente-Maritime first, “and our intention is to put in forty in New Aquitaine by the finish of 2023 and 600 in France inside 5 years. »

Target municipalities should have not less than 750 inhabitants, not already outfitted with a mini-market, and be positioned not less than half an hour spherical journey from a grocery store. “We will clearly not substitute supermarkets, however on this interval of excessive inflation, particularly gasoline, our thought is to take part in the protection of buying energy. “A constructing allow should be submitted to arrange a cell dwelling, “and we’re asking the city corridor to offer us a chunk of land, however we solely want {an electrical} connection, not even a water level. »

“Offer might differ by store”

These can be autonomous shops, “in the sense that we wish folks to be autonomous: they will come at 10 o’clock on a Saturday night with out anybody’s assist. “But hiring a supervisor for 5 shops will nonetheless guarantee attendance. “He can be current at every comfort store at particular instances, and work together with prospects and stick with them, particularly in creating accounts that generate QR codes, as a result of if it is widespread attributable to the Covid-19 disaster, digital in the rural world. A degree of division stays”, admitted Marie-Laure Basset.

In phrases of merchandise, every store will cowl all classes. “We supply a big recent line, frozen, fruits and greens, drinks however no alcohol, hygiene merchandise, for animals… The supply can differ relying on the store: if we’re near a closely trafficked street, we in all probability have a really Strong snacking supply, which may have no curiosity anyplace else. And we may even complement our merchandise with native producers. »

Eventually, the chain hopes to have the ability to supply different companies, “reminiscent of a parcel relay nook or a partnership with the medical sector, with the thought of ​​recreating a village sq.. “API is aiming to realize a turnover of 200,000 euros per store and profitability per 12 months, “from 100 shops”.

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