Italy: recent developments

Date : 12 November 2019

Francesco Pugliese Conad’s CEO has stated the takeover of Auchan Italia has been more complicated than expected. Meanwhile, on the 1 January 2020 Bennet partners with the VéGé Group. Separately, the Coop and IBM alliance has launched a ‘call of ideas’ initiative.

Conad’s acquisition of Auchan Italia

Conad’s acquisition of Auchan Italia has been more complicated than Conad originally planned. Conad has implemented its business model to Auchan Italia to start improving the business.

Pugliese has commented the main challenge Auchan Italia encountered was limiting local realities and Conad has now unlocked the ability to help local suppliers to provide shoppers with local products.

Pugliese stated Conad has managed to improve Auchan stores over the last few months, but it faces numerous problems, such as unions disagreeing with new developments. The union recently declared a strike across the entire Auchan Italia network on 30 October 2019, due to Conad not offering any commitment to the future of current Auchan Retail employees.

Bennet joins VéGé Group

Italy-based Bennet has partnered with the VéGé Group. The venture will begin on 1 January 2020. Bennet has over 50 years’ experience in the hypermarket and shopping centre markets, in northern Italy. Bennet joining the Vege Group will change the infrastructure, which will open the group to more opportunities.

Gruppo VéGé’s chief executive, Giorgio Santambrogio, stated the partnership offers an opportunity to close 2020 with a turnover of €10 bn. Bennet’s managing director, Adriano De Zordi, said the collaboration is complementarity as both companies share values and will benefit from each other’s knowledge and experience.

Coop and IBM introducing blockchain technology

In 2018, Coop and IBM formed a partnership, which has been recently expanded through the launch of an initiative under the name Call of ideas. Call of ideas is a scheme dedicated to blockchain technology, food chain and the production of made in Italy Coop brand eggs.

Blockchain technology is commonly used amongst retailers to highlight the supply chain of specific products. Coop’s shoppers will be able to scan a QR code, which will confirm the eggs meet certified animal welfare standards as well as the full history of the product, including the territory of where the egg originated.

Coop and IBM will use blockchain to track organic eggs and other Italian products. The aim of the initiative is to enhance shopper’s safety and standard of living, through transparency and visibility. Furthermore, the blockchain technology is a method of differentiating in the Italian market.


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