The French will soon surf the Internet by paying a subscription to the hypermarket. According to our information, Auchan should launch this year its own offer of access to Internet broadband. The group, which holds 121 hypermarkets in France, will use the operator's network Completel, which won the tender. As the "box" for future subscribers, it would be manufactured by Sagem. The Distributor had planned his attack for a long time. Last August, he had recovered by court the domain names Auchanbox.fr and Auchanbox. Interviewed by "Les echos", Auchan refuses to comment, indicating however "watch developments and possibilities of convergence of Internet offers."
The Distributor is not his first experience in telecommunications. Since October 2006, it is virtual mobile operator, i.e. he bought capabilities at SFR this time for resale under the A-Mobile brand. Recently, to its offers of blocked packages its prepaid, he added an offer of mobile Internet via a laptop PC with a USB key. But despite links Auchan with SFR, is not the subsidiary of the mobile operator Neuf Cegetel that he has chosen to launch its ADSL offer. Neuf Cegetel well responded to the call for tenders of Auchan but without success. "Other distributors like Carrefour and Leclerc, who are already virtual mobile operators, to think about getting into the ADSL but their projects do are not also reach that of Auchan", explains an industrial source. Their goal is of course to take advantage of their many super and hypermarkets to market supply. But not only. For his new activity of ISP, Auchan for example started discussions with major portals of the Internet, including AOL France, for use as a home page. The Group wishes to put forward his shop online consumer electronics GrosBill, his ticket on Internet TicketNet service, or even his voyagesauchan site. In a second time, Auchan could try a breakthrough in the sale of music and dematerialised films. The decline in sales of CD and DVD, very present in the rays of its hypermarkets, the grows to think. Auchan is for example already reseller of prepaid cards for the service of video at the request of Canal .
Is that, until now, the only example of distributor to be launched in the Internet, and should be kept is not conducive to optimism. Darty, because it's him, had only 121.000 subscribers to its ADSL offer end January, a little more than a year after its launch, instead of the expected 170,000. In addition, consumer electronics stores have supported operational loss of EUR 22.5 million last year on this activity, i.e. two thirds of turnover...
Another example that was not a success, mobile phone, The Phone House, specialty stores have stopped their ADSL offer a year ago. Only a few thousands of customers were seduced by the offer. The standard of the ADSL in France now is 30 euros per month, in the minds of consumers. And the margin is relatively low, in the end, for service providers who are not infrastructure. Except to make the volume, that, theoretically, large food distributors are able to.