CARREFOUR PICKS HAVAS BOUTIQUE FOR ONLINE SHOPPING ACCOUNT

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PARIS -- French retail giant Carrefour has moved advertising for its online grocery division Ooshop.com from Young & Rubicam-owned marketing services agency Impiric, Paris, to Havas Advertising-owned creative hot shop Enjoy Scher Lafarge, Paris.

Enjoy bagged the undisclosed Ooshop.com budget after a final pitch against Publicis Groupe-owned Saatchi & Saatchi, Paris, and is slated to begin rolling out ads for its newest client later this year.

Launched in mid-2000 in France's two largest cities, Paris and Lyon, Ooshop has since acquired a dedicated customer base of some 10,000 regular clients, defined as those who order groceries online at least twice monthly.

The service offers cyber-shoppers more than 6,000 products at hypermarket prices, guaranteeing rapid delivery from centralized warehouses for a set fee of about $11.

Ooshop.com -- or "Where to shop?" in Internet franglaise -- is fighting a pitch battle for online grocery supremacy in France with Casino-owned www.cmescourses.fr, operating in both Paris and provincial cities since late-1998, and www.houra.com, the Internet division of top retailer Auchan.

Carrefour, the world's second-largest retailer behind U.S.-based Wal-Mart, with thousands of hypermarkets, supermarkets and convenience stores across France and worldwide, is testing a second online service -- www.carrefour-direct.com -- in selected provincial cities.

Unlike Ooshop, which focuses on a centralized model similar to that pioneered by troubled U.S. online grocery WebVan, the new tests focus on so-called picking operations in which staff fill Internet orders directly from stock on store shelves.

Ooshop, for its part, has announced plans to launch its services in Madrid in June through Carrefour's Spanish agency Publicis. -- Lawrence J. Speer

Copyright May 2001, Crain Communications Inc.

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