Auchan Minute, the unmanned micro-mart which has ~750 outlets in China will make its European debut in March in Villeneuve d'Ascq, close to Auchan Retail’s HQ. In the initial phase, the store will only be open to Auchan employees.

Minute stores are designed for 24/7 operation and carry a curated assortment of 500 SKUs. Entry is via smartphone, with customers having downloaded the app, which is also used to scan products and complete payment.

The length of the trial is as yet unspecified, but a wider roll-out of the format is expected should early testing prove the viability of the concept in Europe.