Italy: expansion, growing partnerships

Date : 26 April 2019

As Esselunga strengthens its partnership with the Cerea family, Despar and Glovo announce plans to grow their presence in Italy and MD acquires stores, we round up news from the country.

Despar to continue expansion in 2019

Distribuzione Moderna reports on Despar Italia’s 2018 results, where it said turnover grew 3.5% to €3.5bn. Its turnover growth was supported by the opening of 29 new stores during 2018. The success of the new stores will see Despar invest a further €95m in 2019 in the addition of 50 new stores and the renovation of a further 36.

Private label sales grew strongly, with Despar launching 251 new products during the year, and accounted for 19.2% of its total sales at the end of 2018. Despar said it aims for its private label ranges to account for 25% of sales by 2025.

Esselunga strengthens partnership with Cerea family

Corriere Della Sera, meanwhile, has reported on the strengthening of the partnership between Esselunga and the Cerea family, who design and produce a range of confectionery products pastries for the retailer, under the Elisenda brand. The partnership between the two organisations began in 2016 and has been slowly expanded since then. The reports suggest the range, which is in 40 stores as of April 2019, will be expanded to 100 by 2020.

The challenge for both sides will be maintaining the level of quality promised by the Elisenda name as the range and reach of the products grows. To this end, Roberto Cerea was quoted underlining the importance of training staff, to produce the ranges, and the involvement of experts in logistics and packaging.

Glovo looks to expand coverage

Glovo is aiming to grow its coverage in Italy, expanding its presence from the 14 cities it operates in now. Glovo Italy’s general manager, Elisa Pagliarani, pointed out that only 14% of the population lives in the country’s top 10 cities, meaning that it needs to grow to reach a wider number of users. Pagliarani said through the use of its data, Glovo can identify trends and tastes that will help support its partners – retailers and local restaurants – as it enters new urban areas.

MD acquires stores, celebrates anniversary

MD SpA has acquired 21 supermarkets, for €30m, from the Abate Group. The stores were put up for auction by Catania’s bankruptcy court. The 30 stores add to MD’s presence in Catania and the surrounding area, where it already operates 67 locations, of which 35 are directly owned and 32 are affiliates.

Separately, MD has launched a competition to celebrate its 25th anniversary, branded ‘Il Vinci Viaggi’. On 25 April, shoppers who spend €25 or more will receive a code that they input on the retailer’s web site. Entering the code gives shoppers the chance to win one of 125 travel vouchers worth €200 and five travel vouchers worth €1,000.