With many people unable to go out shopping because of illness or lockdown restrictions and supermarket delivery slots rapidly filling up, four French supermarket brands have begun offering one-hour deliveries of a limited number of items.
Carrefour and Casino supermarkets have teamed up with UberEats, while the chains Franprix and Monoprix are partnering with Deliveroo to offer delivery of smaller orders to the home within one hour – although at present the service is generally only on offer in cities.
More usually concerned with delivering takeaways, Deliveroo and UberEats have branched out to offer the new service via their websites.
There are some limitations to the new service though.
Firstly it's not available everywhere.
Carrefour launched last week in around 15 stores in Paris and the Paris region and hopes to roll it out nationwide in the coming weeks.
For Casino, it is present in 17 cities including Aix, Brest, Marseille, Montpellier, Saint-Etienne and Toulouse, Monoprix is running the service in 38 outlets in 15 cities including Paris, Marseille and Nice while Franprix has it in 32 stores with a target of 80 by May.
Secondly there are limits on what you can order.
Many couriers are on bikes so there is a weight limit to the baskets and a maximum number of items per order – the service is not intended for people getting their entire weekly family shop.
The supermarkets allow you to choose from between 50 to 100 everyday basic items to make up your basket, while several also offer ready-made baskets, including an organic fruit and veg basket from Monoprix, an everyday basics basket from Carrefour and an apéro basket – beers or wine, cheese and hummus – from Monoprix.
And thirdly it is more expensive – not only do you pay the UberEats or Deliveroo delivery charge on top of the cost of the items, some items seem to be more expensive than those on the shelves of the same supermarkets.
Carrefour has told French media that “order preparation costs” are a factor, while acknowledging that this is an additional (and therefore more expensive) service.