“Food products, hygiene products and then IT” are the three categories of items that sell best on the Cdiscount site during containment, says its CEO, Emmanuel Grenier. (FRANCEINFO / RADIOFRANCE)

“We have had a 40% increase in sales since the beginning of April”, reveals Emmanuel Grenier, CEO of Cdiscount, Tuesday April 21 on Franceinfo, while France is in confinement for more than a month due to the coronavirus epidemic. “This benefits all VSEs and SMEs present on Cdiscount and who sell directly to customers. Their sales have increased by 70%”, he continued. The boss also claims that “all distancing and disinfection measures have been taken” in its warehouses.

>> Coronavirus: find the latest information on the Covid-19 epidemic in our live

franceinfo: Is there a postponement of purchases from Amazon customers who closed their sites until April 25 in France to your Cdiscount site?

Emmanuel Grenier: Since the start of containment, e-commerce has become the preferred shopping channel for the French. Sales are accelerating week after week. There are several categories of products that have been enormously successful: food products, hygiene products and then IT. It is easy to understand, both for telework and remote schooling for children. PCs, printers, ink cartridges … There are also toys, because parents had to be able to entertain their children at home. We have had a 40% increase in sales since the beginning of April. This benefits all VSEs and SMEs that are on Cdiscount and sell directly to customers through the marketplace. Their sales increased by 70%. The sales dynamic is linked to the ecosystem of the 5,000 French SMEs that work with us. They derive great benefit from it today.

Has Cdiscount been brought to justice like the Amazon company on basic necessities?

Not at all. The key to this topic is employee safety. From the start of confinement, a month and a half ago, the safety of employees in warehouses was made a priority, so that they could work in complete safety. We have been very strict with this. All distancing and disinfection measures have been taken. We provided the masks, the gels. Then, there was the method thanks to a quality social dialogue, we were able to implement these measures with our social partners. People work safely in Cdiscount warehouses today.

Where do the masks sold on Cdiscount come from?

What is important to say is that we are not allowed to sell masks to individuals. They have been reserved for all nursing staff. We cut the sale of masks, there were historic partners who sold masks on our site, we stopped it because it was not allowed. From the start, the sale of masks to individuals was cut off. We launched an initiative with VSEs and SMEs so that they could get masks to restart the activity in May. We did this in conjunction with the CCIs, the government and the chambers of trades. We set up an internet platform on which VSEs and SMEs can come and order masks. We started last week and we have extended this to all of France since yesterday (Monday), we have already sold several million masks. We ordered 60 million masks to sell them to VSEs and SMEs.

Will Cdiscount pay the exceptional tax-free premium to its employees?

We made the decision to pay this bonus. It will go from 100 euros per week up to a ceiling of 1000 euros. All employees, those who are in particular in warehouses, who are in the field, will benefit from this bonus.