Casino and L'Oreal team up to launch new beauty stores

Casino and L'Oreal team up to launch new beauty stores
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PARIS (Reuters) - French supermarket retailer Casino <CASP.PA> and beauty products group L'Oreal <OREP.PA> have teamed up to launch new beauty stores in Paris, in a further sign of retailers' attempts to win over customers in the face of competition from online rivals.

The two companies said on Friday that the new stores - dubbed "le drugstore parisien" - would cover various beauty products and other offerings such as over-the-counter medicines.

The first two outlets will open later this month in the 9th and 6th districts of Paris, with other products on offer including shoe-shining machines, dry cleaning, and mobile phone charging points.

For L'Oreal, the stores will allow it even greater exposure in terms of being able to sell its beauty products.

For Casino, the tie-up with L'Oreal marks its latest partnership with a major firm, as France's traditional retailers aim to find ways to deal with competition from U.S Amazon <AMZN.O>.

Since Amazon agreed last year to buy grocery chain Whole Foods Market Inc for $13.7 billion (10.3 billion pounds), expectations that it could focus next on Europe have spurred French retailers to improve their own online offerings and find new ways to win clients.

Casino's own Monoprix supermarket arm will start selling its products to customers in Paris through Amazon's Prime Now service this year.

Casino has also begun talks on a forming a partnership regarding the purchasing of food and non-food items with domestic rival Auchan, and it is also expanding its online offering through a deal to use UK online retailer Ocado's <OCDO.L> platform.

Earlier this month, Casino said it aimed to complete 1.5 billion euros ($1.75 billion) worth of asset sales by early next year to cut its heavy debt burden.

(Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta; Editing by Matthias Blamont)

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