Founded in 1998 in Bordeauxe-commerce site cdiscount, which is almost wholly owned by the Casino group today, weighs about four billion euros in turnover. The company’s headquarters is still in Bordeaux, where about 1,300 employees are concentrated, while about a thousand logistics are spread over the group’s four warehouses in France, which account for a storage area of 500,000 square meters. Logistics crew that doubles from October, to prepare for events like Black FridayThen the Christmas holidays. 20 minutes Interrogate Cdiscount’s Deputy General Manager, Mary Even.
How do you prepare for an event like Black Friday?
It is a date that marks the beginning of Christmas shopping. We usually have 20 million visitors a month on our site, and we’re expecting between 8 and 10 million for Black Friday alone, even though it’s become black week for most retail sites in line. We have seen very dynamic traffic since last Friday. We have close to 200 people working constantly to find the best product every day, at the best price, and Black Friday is an event that we prepare months in advance, almost from the beginning of the year, so that we can give you the best deals possible.
How is this organized in your warehouse?
In terms of surface, we have enough to store products. On the other hand, we’re doubling the size of our workforce by the end of the year. They arrive in successive waves from the end of September to the beginning of October. Our warehouse in Cestas near Bordeaux, for example, has gone from 600 to 1,400 logistics operators.
In your warehouses, what solutions do you implement to reduce consumption and waste, especially with regard to packaging?
We started initiatives to reduce the carbon footprint of logistics eight years ago. We have acted accordingly TransportationI’PackagingWithout forgetting the working conditions in our professions. For example, we have invested heavily in six 3D laminating machines, which scan the three dimensions of the product to allow the cardboard to fit as closely as possible. About 85% of our products are packaged in an improved way, saving 30% on boxes. By optimizing the loading of our trucks, which are completely full, we simultaneously reduce the number of trucks on the road by 30%. it’s huge. Another example, we’re working with Hebley start And its package is reusable a hundred times. Thus, the customer can return the package of his product after folding it and placing it in a mailbox. So even if it’s plastic bags, it’s still better than a can. We also take steps to remove packaging for products that do not pose any particular risk. We ask our customers in advance, who accept 98% that their products are unwrapped. We are expanding the list of qualified products.
There is also the issue of last-mile delivery, and how to reduce its impact?
There are already issues of noise pollution and air pollution. We have made a choice in the big cities to develop electric fleets. We are experimenting Lions Oversized cargo, such as washing machines, on cargo bikes, with a start called Spread the kiss. For the same-day delivery offer, which is about small products for customers who live in big cities, we use TGVs: packages are bolted under a bar cart, boarded by train and collected on arrival by electric van to be delivered to a customer. I often hear express delivery is dirtier, which isn’t necessarily true, it just depends on how you deliver. At Cdiscount, the fastest delivery is the lowest emission. We were also the first to develop such a large network of collection points, for small and large products, everywhere in France, limiting travel. Recently, we even opened 200 collection points on farms in rural areas, in partnership with another startup, Agricoles. We have one in Ile de Re, and another in the mountains.
How about the drone delivery, which I wanted to try?
With all the delivery offers available to customers, honestly it’s not a priority today.
Some technology companies are currently going through a crisis, after Covid-19 has seen their activity soar. How are things going with you?
The Corona virus disease It was a moment of strong mobilization for us, because all the stores were closed, and only e-commerce for non-food products remained. We have never stopped delivering, which has allowed us to attract new customers. So, in fact, the post-Covid activity level has decreased through a catch-up effect, but we haven’t lost those new customers. Above all, Covid has accelerated the use of digital technology.
On the other hand, many sectors face difficulties in employment, is this your case?
No, because we retain our ability to attract both logisticians and engineers, even if the market is really tight. But we are constantly evolving: we did 10 years of classic e-commerce, and then in 2011 we chose to open the market, allowing us to have the largest possible offer with 14,000 sellers, who offer a total of 80 million products on our site. At the same time, we’ve gone from 80 computer engineers to nearly 700 today. We’ve gone from being a very commercial company in our DNA, to a technology company above all else, without losing our retailer culture. This history and the huge investments we’ve made mean we offer an exceptional playground for tech careers. On the one hand, the competition is stronger, because all companies are going through their digital transformation, so the challenge is to remain attractive.