Interview with Michel-Edouard Leclerc

"Now all forms of business are changing and virtually no income will remain after the Internet revolution. A vision is needed. As the size of the market and the number of players increases, so does the power of consumers. Therefore it must be recognised today that such a large project requires strength and opportunities for education, publication and debate. ESCP Europe is a great institution; a prestigious brand which gives us a great opportunity to meet with students. In this fast changing world it is vital to encourage the latter to work on our business in order to open up new paths." 


Michel-Edouard Leclerc, CEO, E. Leclerc

A few words from the Academic Director: Professor Olivier Badot

"Our goal is to create the business of tomorrow; now called the business movement 4.0. It is “fast” business which mixes cross-channel, business via social networks (“hashtag business") and also all collaborative business. Consumers are becoming sellers, logisticians, producers. Value chains are changing. Ecosystems and physical stores are changing dramatically. We see the drive in hypermarkets, but also the "phygital": a mixture of physical and digital. All these changes, both under the influence of Internet culture, new beliefs and new ways of seeing the world, short channels and disintermediation, significantly impact retail distribution. Our first goal is to be a partner with an expert company on these issues. The second objective is to stimulate and foster high level retail vocations in business schools."


Olivier Badot, Associate Dean for Research, ESCP Europe
Scientific Director of the E. Leclerc Chair

Olivier Badot, Associate Dean for Research, ESCP Europe

Chair in Future of Retail in Society 4.0

This Chair aims to foster forward-looking in-depth reflection on the business and retail industry of tomorrow. 

How did this Chair appear?

In an environment undergoing profound change, E. Leclerc, a key player in business and the retail industry, was looking for opportunities for teaching and debate where it would be possible to promote new forms of business and discuss new business ecosystems in the era of company 4.0.

The Chair has been signed on April 5, 2016 and will be led by Olivier Badot, Associate Dean for Research at ESCP Europe.

The meaning of the partnership with E.Leclerc


 A forward-looking vision of business and the retail industry

The creation of this Chair reflects a common will to escape from a traditional view of retail distribution, to move forwards and build the history and professions of the future of the retail industry, e-commerce and business 4.0.

In-depth discussions on key themes

The Chair gives a certain distance on short-term issues so as to have a better view of more structural aspects of future business and retail distribution. It will analyse the basic issues affecting the business and retail distribution sector as a whole, in order to structure forward-looking thought on certain key themes of company 4.0

With 110,000 employees, its network of 557 entrepreneurs and a market share of 20.2% in 2015, E. Leclerc, the small Breton family grocery store founded in 1949 has become a real international empire. This major retail player has risen to many challenges throughout the more than 60 years of its existence… and therefore appeared to be an ideal partner.

The main areas of research

With its avant-garde dynamics, the Chair’s main areas of research and teaching extend beyond the "old economy" to join the "economy 4.0.". It is more flexible, both virtual and real, and also able to generate new ecosystems. 

E. Leclerc ESCP Europe Chair

The projects of the E. Leclerc/ESCP Europe Chair for 2016/2017

For its first year, the E. Leclerc/ESCP Europe Chair projects cover the following 5 themes: 

E.Leclerc and ESCP Europe Chair

  • Launch of ESCP Europe Doctoral theses in Management Sciences on the following themes: "Behaviour of purchasers in company 4.0." & "Economic business models 4.0.".
  • Research papers by students in various business-related disciplines (marketing, logistics, economics, management and organisation, strategy, information technology and systems...). A "Best E. Leclerc Research Paper in business 4.0" prize will be awarded.
  • Launch of "Retail Distribution & Business 4.0" course ESCP Europe/E.Leclerc for students to enable them, in 30 hours, to better understand and analyse the retail industry and business today in terms of its evolution and challenges of tomorrow.
  • Published in September 2016, the book "Business and commercial town planning: the major challenges of tomorrow" by Professor Olivier Badot and Dr. Dominique Moreno
  • Launching of the "Petits-Déjeuners" of Retail 4.0.: monthly meetings at ESCP Europe, debates to discuss key-topics about the retail 4.0.

The team for the Chair