Coronavirus: the French consumer turns to e-commerce for day-to-day shopping.

With the Coronavirus and the major sanitary crisis in March 2020 the French people have changed their consumer behavior. On March 17 th, the French President Emmanuel Macron declared the “State of sanitary emergency” and the beginning of confinement in France.


Since the first speech of Emmanuel Macron, the French people have rushed to supermarkets to buy items in anticipation of the confinement. This behavior created an overload of work for the employees of the distribution sector.




The “Drive”, a distribution system that continues to grow in France.

The concept of the “Drive” already existed in the fast-food sector. During the 2000’s this system was adapted to the distribution sector. This new method of buying only became a real success during the beginning of the 2010’s. For some years now the French have observed a proliferation of the withdrawal points in the country.

A significant increase of demand with the Coronavirus crisis.

With the Coronavirus crisis, French consumers have developed new demands. To avoid the crowd and the risk of contact with the virus or to buy items that have been touched by infected people, many French consumers have chosen to do day-to-day shopping via “drive”. Indeed, the consumer places an order on the internet and picks up his purchases while remaining in the car. This aspect of the “Drive” has contributed to the success of the system during the sanitary crisis.


If purchasing via a “Drive” is adapted to the sanitary crisis, retail establishments have had a lot of difficulties to absorb the increasing workload. Companies were forced to increase their staff. Some employees work the night shift or on Sundays to restock and to meet the increasing demand.


Some statistics to understand the part of growth.

Sales statistics have been upset, according to the magazine “Linéaire” which specializes in the French distribution sector. The percentage of sales increased 74.3% in “drives” during the first week of the confinement in France. Each “drive” is attached to a hypermarket and normally the “drive” represents 20-30% of the revenues from the sales of the hypermarket. At the moment however, some “drives” represents 50% of a hypermarket’s sales revenues.

A propos de Guillaume NIERENGARTEN

Étudiant salarié en Master 2 Commerce Électronique à la faculté de droit de Strasbourg

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