One of the best cards in my opinion is through E.Leclerc. Does that name trigger something in your English speaking mind? What do you think of?
Would you see a big orange and blue sign saying, 'E.Leclerc' and think giant grocery store that is the only place to find yellow cheddar cheese in the Montpellier area? Or do you, like me, think, 'hmmm, sounds like the electric company.'?
It actually means lightning, kachow!, so you wouldn't be (or I wasn't) far off if that's what you thought. See, you're super smart and wordsy.
Back to groceries and the excitement that's been brewing around my little town. (Again, this may just be me.)
The E.Leclerc company of great fidelity card value struck out last year and installed a drive through grocery shopping experience just up the hill.
There's the big store you can go to and wander around looking at all the different types of goat cheese, pâté and white bean products, tout à fait.
But this is truly, spectacular. And even more than a little bit American.
What they've done is create an online shop, 'sure, whatever, everybody does that' is what you're thinking.
BUT. Does everybody have a warehouse with groovy bank looking drive through lanes, automated kiosks where you swipe your loyalty card and Pierre or Guillame who appear with a cart full of all you've ordered online?
They will then politely ask how many plastic bags you're returning in exchange for the ones that all your stuff is in, blip that on their electronic device and give you a recycling discount back onto your handy loyalty card. You'll get a look at your eggs to make sure they aren't cracked, say a little something in French like, "I'll put my eggs in the front with me." to which you get a smile and a 'Oooo, your accent is cute.' and then watch as all your bottled water, milk, canned cassoulet and lentils, toilet paper, laundry detergent and who'm I kidding?, boxed wine, get stashed in the trunk.
Are you jealous? Can you believe it? Do you have this in the Motherland?
The funny thing is they planted this grocery store of the future just next to the Carrefour of the olden days and I used to sit there letting flirty Guillame do all the work and glance over and shaking my head in despair for those poor suckers who were having to park, get out, do the whole euro coin for a trolley thing and then schlump around the aisles with screaming (well, they're French so they're not really screaming) toddlers in tow. Poor, poor shoppers of the past.
And then today. I saw it. Carrefour has erected their very own, very BIG awning bank drive through stylee grocery shopping experience. Right. Next. Door.
Carrefour has found some berries and they're flaunting it, laughing in the face of Msr Lightning and saying, 'Oui Msr, deux peuvent jouer à ce jeu.'