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Google Enters Deal With Carrefour to Sell Food Online in France

Alphabet Inc.’s Google entered a deal with Carrefour SA to sell groceries online in France in what the retailer said was the first time fresh food will be marketed through the Internet giant’s platforms.

By early 2019, French shoppers will be able to buy Carrefour’s products through Google platforms including Home, Assistant and the Google shopping destination in France, the retailer said in a statement. Carrefour didn’t comment on the financial structure of the deal.

Competition in the French supermarket business has been heating up as grocers race to boost their digital offerings. Casino Guichard Perrachon SA in March announced a deal to sell products from its Monoprix stores via Amazon.com Inc.’s Prime service in the Paris area, following a deal last year between Casino and grocery e-commerce technology provider Ocado Group Plc.

Since taking over as Carrefour’s CEO last summer, Alexandre Bompard has promised to become a leader for grocery e-commerce and to reduce the company’s dependence on suburban big-box stores in France.

“This deal is a transformative measure for Carrefour to become the leader in grocery e-commerce, which is the first pillar of the turnaround plan announced in January,” Marie Cheval, the company’s head of digital transformation, said in a telephone interview. “This is the first time groceries will be sold through Google’s interfaces in France -- and the first time for fresh food in the world.”

Carrefour will also adopt Google tools such as Gmail for more than 160,000 of its staff, the retailer said. The tech company will provide digital training for more than 1,000 employees over the next six months to help prepare for the switch.

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