Some people love shopping. Nothing wrong with that as long as you have the time and energy. For those that have neither, have you tried ’Le Drive’ yet?

Most of the big chain supermarkets have them now, and if you’re in a hurry, unwell, disabled, or it’s just too warm to shop til you drop, they are an excellent way of filling up the fridge with a minimum of effort. Or if you are quite simply tired of hauling all those bottles of beer or water from shop to boot, it’s rather nice to have it done for you.

I spoke to Cyril Garrocq, in charge of the Drive at Leclerc Elne and Le Boulou who answered some reader’s concerns about Internet grocery shopping and Le Drive in general.

He told me that he could only speak for Elne and Le Boulou Drive, as other Leclerc stores may function differently, but he is happy to answer any enquiries about Le Drive – and he speaks English (although he did say he is a little rusty!)

The principal of Le Drive, he explained, is not to replace the shop or shopping itself, but to provide all the ’produits de base’ for those times that it is not convenient to browse the supermarket shelves.

Go onto the Lerclerc Drive website Le Boulou or Elne, sign in….and start shopping! The website will take you to each ’rayon’, from drinks to frozen goods to épicierie, bébé, fruit et legumes, fromages, special offers….. Click on whatever you want, go to your ’panier’, check it, pay for it, choose a time to pick it up – et Robert est votre oncle!

Surprisingly, there is no minimum at Leclerc! If you want a dozen bottles of water and nothing else, that’s OK – and much easier than hauling them from the shelf to the trolley to the checkout to the trolly to the car boot!

Cyril suggests that you should check your fruit and veg on site: they try to make sure that everything is in-date and in good condition….but sometimes they don’t get it quite right. “Ca arrive” he says. “We’d prefer you to take a little time, if you wish, to check the goods”. If you do arrive home and something isn’t right, email Cyril on and he will get back to you personally – or ring you if you leave a phone number. Now that’s what I call personal service!

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