A sector rapidly evolving in response to e-commerce pure players

We assist distributors and pure players in developing their business (product offering, pricing, services, digitalization, etc.) and operational model (procurement, supply chain, logistics, head office, points of sale operations, etc.) in order to increase their market share and profitability. 


Traditional retailers and Internet pure players must continuously optimize their business and operational models to capture growth market opportunities, while maintaining profitability in challenging economic conditions: more
  • Intensification and rapid diversification of the competitive landscape:
    • Strong growth of e-commerce stream: +15-20% per annum  (vs. 0-1% overall)
    • Development of market places by pure players
    • Sustained expansion of superstores (+600,000 sqm per year), resulting in diluted revenue per sqm
  • Success of ‘click-and-collect’ services  and specifically of the ‘drive-through’:
    • €3 billion in sales revenue for the ‘drive-through’ in 2014 (2,800 sale units, including 600 autonomous units)
    • Emergence of new ‘pure players’ and direct product marketing by industrial manufacturers (pooled logistics resources) forecasted until 2020
  • Ongoing price war on all markets:
    • Drop in the purchasing power of French customers
    • Price comparison facilitated through Internet (smartphones)
  • Inflation of procurement and distribution costs:
    • Goods (raw materials and Asian labor rates)
    • Transportation/logistics
    • Stores


To increase their market share and improve profitability, retailers should focus on:

  • Developing the attractiveness of their business model and optimizing their profit margins through:
  • The integration of click-and-collect services and digital technologies for traditional players
  • The expansion, segmentation, and renewal of the product offering
  • Their competitiveness and price image
  • Their procurement performance
  • Transforming their supply chain in response to these business assessments and reducing distribution costs through:
  • The optimization of supply chains and logistics networks
  • The positioning of merchandizes, in good time and at minimum cost whilst managing hazards
  • Process performance, particularly with respect to cross- and inter-company processes (flowcasting and collaborative supply, etc.) and IT system performance


How can Argon Consulting help you?

We support customers in the retail sector with their transformation process, from the initial assessment of opportunities to the successful implementation of all performance improvement levers (revenue growth, margins increase, operations, and stocks optimization):

  • Optimization of the product offering and assortments (store clusters and localization of offering)
  • Shortening of product design and development cycles (reduction in ‘time to market’ and reduction of development costs) for proprietary brands
  • Procurement optimization (procurement strategy, sourcing policy, negotiation tactics, management of the initial margin, organization of and interactions between product teams)
  • Pricing optimization (pricing strategy, models integrating sensitivity, elasticity, and chaining for optimized equalization, implementing procedure and periodicity of pricing updates, etc.)
  • Optimization of discounts (strategy, customer segmentation, performance measurement)
  • Optimization of end-to-end goods forecasting & planning processes (supplier procurement, store/onlineprocurement and availability, order management, logistics flows and stocks)
  • Stock management (stock reduction, product segmentation, location, booking and allocation procedures within multi-channel contexts, etc.)
  • Supply chain & logistics master plans with improvements in warehousing performance
  • Support in transformation projects and projects aimed at implementing IT solutions
  • Implementation and coordination of transformation programs
  • Implementation of multi-channel operations (product ranges and assortments, service leveland pricing policies, head office and stores organization, logistics improvements, etc.)

Argon Consulting’s clients include:

Carrefour, Monoprix, Ahold, Casino, Cdiscount, Castorama, Brico Dépôt, Bricorama, But, Conforama, Fnac, Camaïeu, Kiabi, Celio, Spartoo, Galeries Lafayette

Case Studies

Development of a program to reduce stocks and cut logistics costs
Implementation of a “Lean Office” approach to improve the management of admistrative tasks (2000 people concerned)