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Who can benefit from the NFI services?

4 specific cases:
  • Foreign companies in all sectors looking to expand in Hauts-de-France
  • French companies with no site in Hauts-de-France
  • Hauts-de-France companies with a succession plan
  • Foreign-owned companies in Hauts-de-France with a development project
Our services are not intended for :
  • French or international self-employed entrepreneurs
  • French companies wishing to export
  • International companies seeking distribution networks only

Why as the help of Nord France Invest?

Nord France Invest provides you with completely tailored, free of charge and confidential support. We centralize all the information you need to analyze your project. We facilitate your process to find a site, partners or land. We organize site visits. We accelerate your networking with future regional partners. Find out more about the agency's services on this page.

What type of project can support you in?

The agency supports job-creating investment projects. The nature of projects varies according to 3 main categories:
  • Start-up projects
  • Expansion of existing sites in the region
  • takeovers of regional businesses by international companies.
Nord France Invest's services are not aimed at capital investments.
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in Hauts-de-France

Our region is the birthplace of distance selling, so we’ve transitioned naturally into e-commerce. The entire ecosystem has adapted to the new retail landscape, with logistics reinvented to meet new demands from customers, and traditional retail embracing new technologies to stay competitive.
Nord France Invest

It is important to say remind ourselves that e-commerce’s origin lies in a selling technique born in Hauts-de-France: mail-order. 

She region has always benefited from 3 main advantages for trade:

  • A dense consumer area
  • Transport infrastructures which allow the quick delivery of goods to your clients
  • Transporters at producer’s reach

The technological layer that makes e-commerce so distinctive has naturally been applied to the ecosystem of the Hauts-de-France Region. And the region’s mass-market retailers have undergone a lasting transformation to adapt to new buying patterns, making the region the new territory for pure players.

France: a premium market
for online sellers

With online sales quadrupling in a decade1, e-commerce offers real opportunities for your retail business. And many companies use strategic synergies between their on- and offline activities to boost in-store sales.

Source: Fevad 2023


E-commerce has grown steadily in France, strengthening our position as the premium market for pure players in Europe.

E-commerce growth in France

Source : FEVAD 2023

Pur players’ annual sales increased by an average of 12% between 2018 and 2022. According to the FEVAD (Fédération du E-commerce et de la Vente À Distance), 2022 is a record year for e-commerce in France: total internet sales in France are approaching €150 billion.

Far from being saturated, the market offers real opportunities. By 2022, online sales will account for just 12% of total retail sales. As of today, the digital world is fundamentally anchored in consumer habits. That’s why we can safely predict that this share is set to rise over the next few years.


According to a 2020 study by Oxatis, in partnership with Fevad and the Kedge Business School:

  • pure players account for 43% of the e-commerce ecosystem
  • the majority of online retailers (57%) sell products in traditional stores or through distribution networks.

Some traditional retailers have adopted a “click and mortar” strategy, growing their sales by combining brick-and-mortar with e-commerce:

  • an e-commerce site boosts in-store sales by 14% on average
  • 22% of pure players surveyed want to open a physical point of sale

The region’s growth potential continues to attract online sellers, and among France’s fastest-growing regions, Hauts-de-France is the location of choice.


A tightly-woven e-commerce ecosystem
in Hauts-de-France

Hauts-de-France is the birthplace of distance selling, and it continues to be an e-commerce stronghold in France. Sellers of consumer goods (such as Amazon, La Redoute, Auchan, Décathlon and Ingram) and services (such as Booking.com, Egencia and Airbnb) have made it their bastion.

Morgan de toi
La Redoute
Saint Maclou
Leroy Merlin

Choose a location at the heart
of a dense market

The #1 priority for online sellers is to be at the center of their markets, and Hauts-de-France is surrounded by an outstanding customer catchment area. Some 78 million consumers with one of the highest disposable income are within a 300-km radius—just half a day by truck. In short, we offer a consumer market unrivalled anywhere in Europe.

In the 2020 Oxatis study cited above, researchers found that online sellers in France had tapped into markets in neighboring countries.

In short, an Hauts-de-France location is a strategic advantage for growing your export business. And it offers the double benefit of direct access to both the Paris Region and countries in northwestern Europe.

Top 5 export markets

Source : Oxatis - 2020

Benefit from an ideal ecosystem
for e-commerce companies


In addition to our strategic location, Hauts-de-France offers seamless connections to major European transport corridors, with access to large highways, waterways and leading European ports and airports. All you have to do is choose the transport mode that meets your shipping needs.

Logistics specialist in the Region

FM Logistic
XPO Logistics
Kuehne Nagel
Walon France
ID Logistics


There’s much more to e-commerce than shipping and storing products. That’s why Hauts-de-France offers the digital assets you need to grow your business, including:

  • A photo studio,
  • Electronic document,
  • Management,
  • Web development,
  • UX/UI expertise,
  • Content production,
  • Digital customer journey,
  • Data processing,
  • Web marketing solutions,
  • Hardware and software.


Retail technologies
at the service of mass retailers

Nothing is more irritating for a consumer than having to wait precious minutes to pay for their purchase. Retailers need to satisfy their clients as much as possible or else their clients will have to turn to e-commerce.

New Retail brings technologies that transform commerce, both in terms of the act of buying in-store, and in terms of supply chain processing.

The goal of transitioning towards technologies?

Improving the customer experience at physical points of sale is the key to rethinking retail, and staying competitive and productive.


  • staff-free stores with automatic checkouts
  • payment anywhere in the store by a sales assistant, thanks to mobile payment terminals
  • “scan and go”: scan products yourself and pay for them using your mobile phone
  • RFID technology: chips integrated into product labelling
  • moving into new, hitherto neglected living spaces

Focus on a 100% regional system: Décathlon, pioneer of RFID chips

Logo décathlon

To speed up checkout, Decathlon deployed RFID technology back in 2014. Chips have been integrated into the labeling of all products. When customers arrive at the checkout, they no longer need to scan traditional barcodes one by one: they simply place all their items in a bin, which detects the contents of their basket in a matter of seconds. All that’s left to do is pay and go.

RFID technology has enabled Decathlon not only to save time at the checkout, but also at other stages:

  • greater security with an anti-theft chip
  • inventories in record time
  • request for another size from the cabin
  • link with Decathlon e-commerce: access to customer reviews and the possibility of ordering online if an item is not available in store.

Decathlon explains that the time saved at all levels frees up positions to be reallocated to customer relations.

The right time
to seize in Europe

Supermarkets that fail to regain their footing in urban markets will find it hard to survive—but new opportunities are opening up a different future. With New Retail, you can position stores in targeted locations such as residential complexes and event venues, and operate them without staff. And there’s plenty of room to experiment. Brick-and-mortar stores are fearlessly reinventing themselves, becoming bolder, more mobile, and more automated, and their new flexibility—combined with new ways to manage inventory and the restocking process—is creating disruptive new business models. Today’s economy is ideal for reimagining retail:

  • Demand for automated registers is growing
  • Recruiting challenges are forcing companies to find alternatives to human beings
  • Job markets in Eastern Europe are saturated, fueling a spike in payroll costs
  • Consumers are adopting new habits, deserting big-box retailers for human-scale neighborhood stores and paying closer attention to the quality of products and services.

Find customers
 in Hauts-de-France

Our region offers an abundance of business development opportunities. You’ll find prospective customers—King Fisher, Auchan, Boulanger, Adéo, Decathlon, Happychic and more—right here in the region. You can also connect with French and European customers headquartered nearby, including Tesco, Carrefour and Casino. And because Hauts-de-France is so close to France’s border with Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany, it’s easy to develop new business across Northwestern Europe.

Join a robust and
well-organized ecosystem

Outsourcing is easier in Hauts-de-France because all the service providers you need for the success of your New Retail business are already here:

  • Logistics providers,
  • Data centers,
  • Digital agencies,
  • Catalog production companies,
  • Photo studios,
  • Service providers,
  • And more

The Hauts-de-France retail ecosystem is unique:

of retailers in the Region

+ headquarters

of retailers in the Region

for €65 billion in sales

k jobs

for €65 billion in sales

Find the talent you need
in Hauts-de-France

With 35% of our population under 25, Hauts-de-France is the youngest region in the country, and we offer the high-quality training you need for your future employees. We are France’s #2 region for training, with:

  • Many engineering schools. Nearly 10% of all French engineers are trained in Hauts-de-France.
  • the region is home to over 100 training programs dedicated to digital technology, including 24 that you won’t find anywhere else
  • 6 business schools specializing in management. EDHEC, SKEMA and IESEG—all in Hauts-de-France—are listed in the Financial Times and Shanghai global rankings

Bottom line: it’s easy to recruit the qualified employees you need.

Competitive payroll costs

The Hauts-de-France Tegion offers competitive wage costs compared to its French and European competitors.

Salaries for logistics operators are:

  • 3% less expensive than our French competitors
  • 18% less expensive than our European competitors

Salaries for skilled operators in the service industry are:

  • 15% less expensive than our French competitors
  • 6% less expensive than our European competitors


Focus on… Flexibility with the expert advice of Caroline Barbe, the law firm Solucial

Contrary to popular belief, the 35-hour week is not a limit, but rather a benchmark.

On the other hand, it is possible (and often the case) to work longer than 35 hours on a regular basis, with a lump-sum remuneration package that already includes overtime pay.

Caroline Barbe, Associate lawyer specialized in labor laws, Solucial law firm

Competitive real estate and land solutions
for your expansion

The region has many available land and real estate. Lille is France’s 3rd-largest office market, offering real opportunities.

The region’s warehouse market was a major one according to 2022 data, with almost 700,000 m² on the market, i.e. nearly 20% of the national total. Here again, opportunities are ripe for the taking.

Hauts-de-FranceParis RegionMarseille RegionLyon Region
Min : 40
Max : 54
Min : 48
Max : 84
Min : 55
Max : 63
Min : 55
Max : 67

Choose ready-to-use
expansion solutions

From specialized e-commerce sites of excellence to logistics parks, the Hauts-de-France Region has a wide range of solutions to offer. Contact Nord France Invest to find the right location for your needs.


  • PICOM is a retail cluster : it brings together the major French stakeholders from the distribution, e-commerce and customer relations sector. It gives them distribution market forecasts and analyses of consumer patterns
  • SILAB is an innovatin sector which offers around 100 skincare and haircare products for healthy and sensitive skin. This is meant for the cosmetics and dermo-cosmetics industry.
  • Blanchemaille is an incubator dedicated to e-commerce, with an accelerator and a company hotel with more than 2,000sq m.
  • EuraTechnologies is a hub of excellence and innovation, bringing together 300 tech companies, 200 startups, labs, schools, fablabs, investors and software publishers such as Critizr


EuraTechnologies is the #1 business incubator and accelerator in France. This 80,000-sq m digital hyper-hub is the undisputed IT mecca for our region, and its growth strategy includes spinning off specialized facilities in key focus areas. Blanchemaille is the first product of this effort.

Located in a 15,000-sq m building formerly owned by La Redoute, Blanchemaille offers targeted support to digital startups and companies specializing in e-commerce, retail tech and real estate tech. Once selected by the EuraTechnologies incubator/accelerator, participants are immersed in an ecosystem dedicated to e-commerce and innovation. Our pioneering role in distance selling, has drawn many leading companies to Hauts-de-France, including Syndic One/Sergic, Devred, SaleSupply and Supermarchés Match. The region is also home to digital education and training centers such as POP School and the Showroomprivé Foundation’s intensive e-commerce program.