Italy: expansion, appointments and private label

Date : 26 November 2018

As Italian retailers Pam and Despar focus on expanding, Conad appoints its new general manager and Penny launches a new private label line.

Pam expands through partnerships

From 1 January 2019, Pam will gain 68 stores in northwest Italy. This includes 16 Arimondo stores in the provinces of Genoa, Imperia and Savona, which will be rebranded to Pam, and 52 Borello stores in the province of Turin, which will keep the Borello Supermercati banner.

Andrea Zoratti, managing director of Pam franchising, said, “We are very pleased to have closed these two agreements because they allow us to increase our market share by about 35% in both Liguria and Piedmont. Becoming affiliated with Pam means not only being able to benefit from the competence and reliability of a company that has been active in Italy for 60 years, but also has effective training programmes and a strong and consolidated brand image”.

Pam is looking to maintain its expansion in 2019. The retailer has said it hopes to open new stores in Alassio, Albenga, Albissola, Finalborgo, Genoa, Loano, Rapallo and Sanremo during the year.

Penny launches the MyBio Bellezze Naturali line

Rewe-owned Penny has launched its new MyBio Bellezze Naturali organic range, which will see it add ‘ugly’ fruit which are healthy and natural. The line includes all organic, Italian apples, carrots, tomatoes, courgettes, potatoes and lemons and packages them in biodegradable, compostable materials.

Penny’s managing director, Gotthard Klingan, commented, “We are proud to present the new MyBio Bellezze Naturali line, which is the latest step in a broader approach to sustainability. This latest initiative is a way to influence the fight on waste, while allowing us to guarantee consumers a range of genuine and natural food products”.

The initiative is in line with Conad’s collaboration with the Food Sustainability Observatory of the Milan Polytechnic and Banco Alimentare. The companies have partnered to reduce food waste and distribute surpluses to those living in poverty. The partnership also aims to “promote a culture of nutrition, environmental protection and waste reduction”.

Despar discusses its new strategy

As part of an interview with the general manager for Despar Italy, Lucio Fochesato, in Distribuzione Moderna, he covered the changing shopping patterns in the country and its impact on the retailer’s strategy. According to Fochesato, customers are purchasing more private labels than previously. This change should support its aim to increase the share of sales accounted for by private labels to 25% from 19.3% by 2025. Commenting on the importance of private labels, Fochesato said they are “essential for every distributor, since they also mean customer loyalty”.

The retailer is also focusing on strengthening and renovating its small and medium store formats and franchise network. Despar recently relaunched its site, following a complete redesign. The site aims to bring customers “into contact with the Despar world in the simplest and most immediate way”.

To celebrate its 60th anniversary, Despar will announce its 2019-2020 strategy at the San Patrignano convention in April 2019. The strategy will focus on quality, safety, innovation, convenience, transparency, simplicity and consistency.

Conad appoints new general manager

Conad has appointed Francesco Avanzini as general manager, replacing Francesco Pugliese. Pugliese will retain his role as managing director. Avanzini has 30 years of experience in the food industry, while he is a director of AgeCore and president of CPR System, a leading Italian cooperative.