Carrefour has announced plans to open a new virtual store, in April, on the Rakuten marketplace site.

The partnership is expected to provide both companies with shared expertise and increased customer loyalty, while boosting their omnichannel strategies, a statement said.

For Carrefour, the move to fully integrate its shopping experience across different touchpoints, is seen as a chance to further boost its online sales. The National Retail Federation reported recently that Carrefour’s European operations was experiencing good revenue growth, largely from online retail and greater volume from small express stores.

“This new completely virtual store that we are opening on the Rakuten platform will help bolster our position as a major player on the omni-channel segment. As is the case in the bricks-and-mortar world in which we open stores in shopping arcades, we will be able to take advantage of Rakuten’s website and its traffic as a way of raising our profile in the minds of customers,” said Elodie Perthuisot, the Carrefour Group’s Executive Director of E-Commerce, Data and Digital Transformation.

As part of the deal, Carrefour wil join Rakuten’s affiliation programme while consumers who sign up to Rakuten’s loyalty programme (the R Club), will gain access to its cashback system, which is said to be a key focus for the firm.

 “We share a partnership approach to retail and are keen to combine our expertise with that of the Group’s banners and brands so as to foster the emergence of a long-term, inclusive digital culture that consumers will benefit from,” Fabien Versavau, CEO of Rakuten France and Executive Officer of the Rakuten Group, added.