Carrefour-Phénix – innovation rewarded
On Wednesday, Pascal Clouzard - Executive Director France - awarded the "David with Goliath" prize for the best alliance between a young company and a major group. Last year, Carrefour won the prize for its collaboration with start-up company Phénix to tackle food wastage. Around forty or so innovative projects get under way every year between start-up companies and Carrefour's business teams.
The adventure began back in July 2014 following a meeting between Jean Moreau, co-founder of young start-up company Phénix, and Sophie Fourchy, Director of the Carrefour Foundation. Three years later, Carrefour and Phénix were awarded the "David with Goliath" prize for the most successful alliance between a young start-up company and a major group, in the presence of 600 entrepreneurs and decision-makers at the Maison de la Mutualité event venue. The partnership with Phénix first started back in 2015 at a pilot store. Its aim is to reduce food wastage with the help of a website developed by the start-up company for managing unsold stock: in real time, supply can be matched with surplus demand.
Carrefour has since rolled out Phénix’s solution to fifty-five Carrefour Market stores and around twenty or so convenience stores. A win-win alliance for both partners. For the start-up, this partnership generates 20% of its turnover and has enabled it to create 15 jobs. For Carrefour, the solution is in line with its drive to tackle food wastage, while at the same time reducing the costs involved in processing waste by 40%.
One hundred or so partner start-ups
Looking for innovation is one of Carrefour's priorities at all levels of its organisational structure. As such, Phénix is one of the one hundred or so start-up companies currently working with the Group. More than a thousand innovative companies have been identified over the past couple of years, particularly via the network of partner incubators, such as Smart Food Paris and Lafayette Plug and Play. Since 2015, Carrefour has also been investing in Partech Growth, an investment fund for fast-growing tech and digital companies.
Consequently, every year, around 40 or so projects result in a collaboration with a Carrefour business team. Innovative projects which enable Carrefour to conduct large-scale tests, particularly in stores, so it can enhance the customer experience and develop solutions and services that meet the needs of new consumer habits across its various formats and countries. It's also a way for the Group's employees to benefit from the expertise and agility of the best start-ups so they can enhance their expertise and sharpen their creativity.
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