Carrefour calls on Google for voice boost in battle with Amazon

FILE PHOTO: A Carrefour logo is seen on a Carrefour Hypermarket store in Montreuil, near Paris, France, February 5, 2018. REUTERS/Regis Duvignau

PARIS (Reuters) - Carrefour said it has joined forces with Google to create an online voice assistant called “Lea” as part of the French retailer’s digital expansion.

Europe’s largest retailer announced plans in January to invest 2.8 billion euros ($3.5 billion) in digital commerce by 2022, six times its current investment, in the face of competition from Alexa owner Amazon.

Alexa’s chief rival is Google Assistant.

“Lea has been designed to make day-to-day life easier for our customers – they can use it to manage their shopping lists ... using just their voice,” Carrefour said on Friday.

The voice assistant can add ingredients to a customer’s shopping basket based on a recipe, as well as providing information about nearby stores, it said in a statement.

The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Reporting by Dominique Vidalon; Editing by Alexander Smith