Monoprix partners with Amazon, who wins?
All partnerships are the same. There is no win-win situation and one wins over the other. The real challenge is to understand on what grounds Monoprix and Amazon think they are the winner of the partnership and what are the exit strategies for such an agreement. In the short term, Monoprix is able to test new things such as the status of the Monoprix brand and the attractiveness of the Monoprix products. On Amazon’s end, it’s a first commitment from a prominent brand in France to become a customer of their last mile service. What about later on?
Many options are possible on the long run and only Monoprix is able to potentially foresee a successful path. It would depend on their willingness to push on and become a CPG company instead of a retailer. Margins may be better on that side of the business but it would come with a high cost: the global strategy of Monoprix and eventually Casino Groupe would be to shift to the Decathlon story. Tough path and tough changes, even more when you are shaking hands with Amazon. Because as a matter of fact, collaborating with Amazon means that you as a brand are providing real life and real time data from a sample of your customers. Which means that Amazon would be able to extrapolate and identify their lifetime value and other business critical insights.
I’m sure that Monoprix has validated an agreement that would prevent such a situation but even in such a situation, it means that the business data of Casino Groupe flagship would now be owned by Amazon. And there is no scenarios where you are ok with Amazon owning you. If you add to this that Casino Groupe had publicly highlighted they are building a data knowledge center with RelevanC, you start smelling there is something fishy here. This could be (a) they are focusing on short term value creation out of the partnership with the devil (b) they don’t know what they are doing (c) Amazon has sold them a service that bundles both last mile delivery AND data analysis of Monoprix customer segments. The last scenario is the most extreme one, yet the one that would be the most relevant for both of the companies. One is digging to find the next graal of distribution and the other is selling picks and shovels.