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News

Rigby Group chooses Hauts-de-France

Rigby Group subsidiary Altimance, an IT services specialist, will soon begin operations in Valenciennes, joining La Serre Numérique, La Nouvelle Forge and La Cité des Congrès in the Rives Créatives de l’Escaut...

Giroptic makes a splash with Facebook

At Facebook’s annual conference in California, an enthusiastic Mark Zuckerberg gave a Giroptic iO camera to every attendee—and wrote a $1 million check to the Lille-based start-up.

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E-Commerce & Retail

A pioneer in mail order, retail and e-commerce, Northern France offers a winning mix of dynamic SMEs, young start-ups, multinational corporations, and thriving business incubators and accelerators. Our high growth potential has earned us the nation’s “French Tech” label, and because we’re at the heart of Europe’s leading consumer market, we’ve got the perfect site for your new operation. Find out for yourself why Lille is French Tech. 

EUROPEAN MAIL ORDER AND E-COMMERCE CAPITAL

Northern France is the birthplace of modern retail practices such as mail-order sales, franchising, factory outlets and mass-market distribution, as well as mail-order pioneers such as La Redoute, 3 Suisses and Damart, and retail giants like Auchan, Decathlon, Leroy Merlin, Boulanger and Norauto. We’ve embraced the technology revolution, transforming our retail sector and successfully adapting to the demands of e-commerce.

A BREEDING GROUND FOR TOP MASS-MARKET RETAILERS

  • Over 70 retailers are headquartered in Lille Métropole, including major names such as Auchan, Decathlon, Leroy Merlin and Castorama
  • 44,000 jobs
  • €65 billion in sales

EUROPEAN CAPITAL OF MAIL ORDER AND E-COMMERCE

  • 200 mail-order businesses:
    30,000 jobs
    Longstanding community of top mail-order companies, including La Redoute, 3 Suisses International, and Lyreco
  • 160 e-businesses:
    20,000 jobs
    Community of leading e-commerce companies, including Amazon, Egencia, Booking.com, and Sparkow

LILLE—EUROPE'S RETAIL HUB

THE REGION OF CHOICE FOR LEADING RETAILERS

  • AMAZON: chose Northern France as the location for its biggest distribution center in France
  • BOOKING.COM: located its multilingual customer relations platform in Northern France
  • EGENCIA: chose Northern France for its new customer service operation and integrated training platform

FIRST-CLASS PLAYERS THROUGHOUT THE E-COMMERCE VALUE CHAIN

Service

Company

On-line payments

Atos, etc

Direct marketing / analytics

Conexance, Acxiom, Mazeberry, etc

Affiliate marketing

TradeTracker.com, netaffiliation, e-affiliation, etc

Data, hosting & the Cloud

OVH, IBM, CIV, etc

Logistics

Relay, Log_Vad, Relais Colis, TNT, La Poste, Fedex, Dispeo, etc

Consulting

Capgemini, Sopra, Deloitte, etc

Systems integration & software development

Cylande, Vekia, etc

Web design & communication

Pictime, Neoweb, etc

Social media

Un Café, Adictiz, Hobbynote, etc

CUTTING-EDGE INNOVATION

KEY EXPERTISE

  • New web-based applications and solutions, including augmented reality, 3D, and the Internet of Things
  • RFID technology and applications
  • Data acquisition, processing and security
  • Modeling and simulation
  • Human-machine interface
  • And more

INVENTING THE FUTURE OF SHOPPING

There’s no shortage of innovative companies in Northern France. In fact, we’re home to Click and Walk, one of the top ten most innovative start-ups in the world. Here are just a few of the Northern France-based businesses that will change your shopping habits before you know it.

  • FITIZZY: THE RIGHT SIZE—EVERY TIME
    Fitizzy’s application recommends the best garment size for each shopper’s body type

  • KEYNEOSOFT: ONE-CLICK PAYMENT, ONE-FLASH PICKUP
    Keyneosoft’s Flash and Get app includes an image-recognition module that encourages impulse buys and allows customers to collect purchases from lockers.

  • ARTCOM TAKES LIFI TO SUPERMARKETS
    Working in partnership with the Intermarché supermarket chain, Artcom is using LiFi technology to craft new customer relations experiences at the point of sale.

  • PHOCEIS: GEOLOCATING PRODUCTS IN STORES
    Working with Pricer’s latest electronic labelling technology and a highly accurate algorithm, Phocéis has developed an application that can locate every label in a store in a flash.

  • LIMPIDIUS: REVOLUTIONARY SPECIAL OFFERS
    Limpidius has joined forces with Lucky Cart to create a customer experience far more powerful than the traditional discount coupon. Customers receive a cash register receipt with a QR Code, which they scan at an interactive kiosk to win part or even all of the contents of their shopping baskets.
     
  • XILOPIX: SEE AND TOUCH
    Xilopix is developing a visual and tactile search engine that works equally well on line and in stores, taking a 100% intuitive approach that simplifies the customer journey.

2 LEADING CLUSTERS

PICOM

The Picom competitiveness cluster is a gathering place for top players in retail and customer relations. Its mission: cultivate competitive innovation—the kind of innovation that gets new services and processes off the ground and gives their users a competitive edge. 

Picom uses its engineering expertise to create high-added-value partnerships between government researchers and companies in retail and customer relations, staying ahead of trends and finding new solutions for the sector’s economic challenges, in France and internationally.

Picom is geared around 4 key components:

  • Shopping Innovation Lab: the only innovation center of its kind in Europe 
  • New Shopping Experience: a technology showcase for the most innovative businesses 
  • Shopping Foresights: a range of services devoted exclusively to retail forecasting.
  • Innovative Shopping Booster: project engineering services for retail innovation

UBIQUITY CLUSTER

Northern France’s Ubiquity Cluster is where new practices and new technologies come together. The cluster consists of an informal network, guided by experts aiming to establish our region as a leader in ubiquity. One key challenge: anticipate disruptive innovations and bring ubiquity-oriented players together around a common strategy. 

  • Mobility infrastructure and applications
  • Cloud computing
  • Open data
  • Human-machine interfaces, including touch- and gesture-based systems
  • Security for new ICT practices and digital trust

CONSUMER TESTING

EDHEC BUSINESS SCHOOL

  •   InteraCT research cluster for marketing and communications 

SKEMA BUSINESS SCHOOL

  • Laboratoire MERCURMarketing, E-commerce, Retailing, Consumption and Ubiquity Research Centre

BRING YOUR BUSINESS TO NORTHERN FRANCE—AND GROW

NORD FRANCE INVEST: THE TURNKEY SOLUTION FOR YOUR PROJECT

Make the most of your new operation in Northern France with advice from the experts at Nord France Invest. We’ll act as your host in the region, advising and supporting you as you set up your business. Our services are completely confidential, and because they’re funded by our backers, we provide them to you free of charge. Learn more about what we can do for you.

LARGE LABOR POOL

Northern France is home to a qualified workforce and ranks among Europe’s top five business locations for favorable operating costs.

 

  • 11 business schools
  • Over 100 ICT-related training programs
  • Targeted master’s degree in direct marketing and e-commerce
  • Master’s degree in direct marketing and mail-order sales
  • And more

BENEFIT FROM AN OUTSTANDING MARKET

When you locate in Northern France, you open the door to Europe’s leading consumer market—and doing business with Africa is easier too. Learn how the Export Business Booster—a service offered jointly by Nord France Invest and the export team at the Northern France Chamber of Commerce and Industry can make your new venture a success.

KEY MARKET INDICATORS

FOR FRANCE

  • In 2013, e-commerce was a €51.1 billion market 
  • In 2014, e-commerce was a €57 billion market 
  • In 2013, France was home to 33.8 million on-line shoppers, up 5% from 2012
  • As of 2013, 59% of French consumers had made purchases on line
  • 4.6 million French consumers have made purchases via mobile phone
  • In 2013, estimated Internet sales via cell phone, smartphone and tablets came to €2.6 billion, rising 160% over 2012 and accounting for 5% of the Internet market.
  • 780 million parcels per year

FOR EUROPE

  • In 2013, e-commerce was a €363.1 billion market 
  • 264 million on-line shoppers,
  • 32% of the European population shops on line
  • over 3.7 billion parcels per year

Top 5 European countries

B2C e-commerce sales, € billion

 

2013

2014

1/ UK

107.2

125.4

2/ Germany

63.4

76.5

3/ France

51.1

57.5

4/ Russia

15.5

18

5/ Spain

14.4

16.8

Source: E-Commerce Europe rankings

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