PARIS (Reuters) - Privately-held French supermarket operator Leclerc has been approached by U.S. technology group Amazon (AMZN.O) over possible logistics partnerships, as speculation intensifies over Amazon’s intentions in the supermarket sector.
“Yes, we have been approached by Amazon,” Michel-Edouard Leclerc, who heads the company, told Reuters on Wednesday.
“Amazon could - why not? - be our logistics partner,” he added.
Leclerc’s comments come after French newspaper Le Monde reported this week that Amazon had approached various French supermarket operators - including Casino (CASP.PA) - about setting up distribution deals or making an acquisition in the country.
Traders had also cited market speculation last month that Amazon could be interested in bidding for French supermarket operator Carrefour (CARR.PA). Both Casino and Carrefour said they do not comment on market rumors.
Amazon bought Whole Foods Market this year for $13.7 billion in a deal that marked a dramatic change in strategy for a company that had offered food delivery through its Fresh service for a decade but had not previously made any major dents in the $700 billion grocery market.
Writing by Sudip Kar-Gupta, editing by Louise Heavens