Carrefour Brasil launches drive-thru service amid e-commerce push

SAO PAULO, May 10 (Reuters) - Carrefour Brasil, the country’s largest food retailer, launched a new click-and-collect style service in Sao Paulo on Thursday, as the company keeps up its recent focus on e-commerce.

In a statement, the company said the new service would allow customers to select items online, before driving to a designated drive-thru area where workers will place items into the customer’s car.

The service is now available at one store in the affluent Sao Paulo neighborhood of Pinheiros, the company said. Carrefour Brasil did not provide details about expansion plans for the service.

The drive-through option is already available in various countries where parent company Carrefour SA operates. However, the expansion of the service into Brazil underscores how the group is betting on digitalization and trying to take advantage of Brazil’s rapidly growing e-commerce market.

In October, Carrefour Brasil launched a so-called “dark store” in Sao Paulo, which delivers groceries to customers’ doors, a novelty in Latin America. In November, the group launched a more traditional click-and-collect service.

Carrefour Brasil’s archrival, GPA, has also emphasized digitalization efforts in recent months. In April, the company, controlled by France’s Casino Guichard Perrachon SA , brought on a tech-savvy new chief executive from electronics and appliance subsidiary Via Varejo SA.

Reporting by Gram Slattery; editing by Diane Craft