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French Q1 online retail sales up 13% to 22.3b euros

Paris

ONLINE retail sales in France rose 13 per cent to 22.3 billion euros (S$35 billion) in the first quarter, said the French E-Commerce Federation (Fevad), highlighting growth in a sector that has seen Amazon and others make in-roads.

Amazon bought grocery chain Whole Foods Market for US$13.7 billion last year, and expectations that Amazon could focus next on Europe have spurred France's top retail companies to improve their own online offerings.

The Fevad federation said on Thursday that some 37.4 million people made online purchases in the quarter, an increase of 893,000 from a year ago.

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Sales generated on Web-based marketplaces rose 12 per cent, while sales via tablets and smartphones rose 25 per cent.

The average value of the basket fell 4.5 per cent to 65 euros in the first quarter, albeit with an increase in the frequency of purchases, added Fevad. There were, on average, 10.7 online transactions per buyer in the first quarter, up from 9.4 in the year-ago quarter.

Three of the most visited e-commerce websites in France are Amazon, CDiscount which is owned by French retailer Casino, and book and CD retail chain Fnac Darty.

In 2017, e-commerce represented 8.7 per cent of overall French retail sales, up from 7.7 per cent in 2016.

In February, Fevad said online retail sales in France could exceed 90 billion euros for 2018 and 100 billion euros in 2019. REUTERS