Italy: positive sales results and innovations

Date : 21 May 2020

Lucy Bellotti

Retail Analyst

Coop Italia has announced an increase in sales and has introduced new social distancing measures. Separately, DESPAR Italy has launched an education programme aimed at supporting a healthy lifestyle for children. Furthermore, it also revealed a turnover of €3.6 bn in 2019. 

Coop Italia reveals increased sales during coronavirus period

Driven by additional spending because of the coronavirus pandemic, Coop Italia announced an increase in sales of 40% in its medium and small supermarkets. Meanwhile, hypermarkets suffered a decrease of 15%. The retailer revealed a total revenue of €13.5 bn and 1,100 stores at the end of 2019.

Marco Pedroni, Coop Italia’s president, stated overall sales increased by 10%, claiming its smaller stores led the sales growth, while its hypermarkets saw a decrease in sales. Pedroni said he believed the decrease in sales was due to stores’ location, not their size.

Coop Italia reinforces social distancing measures

Coop Italia has introduced two solutions to help continue to implement social distancing measures, keeping shoppers and employees safe. Kiosk Coop has been developed to support measures at its larger stores and hypermarkets, while Kiosk Coop Light is aimed at medium sized stores and self-checkout services.  

The Kiosk Coop service can operate in two options, called drive and Kiosk. The drive mode allows shoppers to order through Coop Italia’s online store and collect the order from the selected store, with a unique QR or pin code. The products will be placed into a shopper’s car, helping to keep staff and consumers safe.

Kiosk mode offers shoppers a click and collect solution, with orders placed in a locker area at designated stores. The solutions allow the retailer to manage the number of shoppers in the area. Both solutions enable shoppers to select specific timeslots. Coop Italia has currently installed the solutions at 30 stores in Liguria and Piedmont regions.

DESPAR Italy introduces a nutrition education programme

DESPAR has launched the Good Habits nutrition education programme. The programme is dedicated to educating children about healthy eating and what contributes to a healthy lifestyle. Furthermore, the scheme includes training sessions, classroom activities and materials.

The Good Habit programme consists of providing cooking workshops, interactive performances, crafting, outdoor play, and exercise classes. Separately, DESPAR has planned three experimental events, which includes SPAR Italy setting up 25 microscopes to allow shoppers to examine food.

DESPAR Italia announces turnover of €3.6 bn

DESPAR revealed an increase in turnover to €3.6bn during 2019. This represents 3% year-on-year growth. The group invested €95m to refurbish existing stores, with the latest store model from SPAR, and to continue to open new stores. At the beginning of 2020 Gruppo 3A joined DESPAR, which added 149 stores to its current estate of 1,240.

DESPAR announced its private labels generated sales of €353.8m in 2019, a 5.7% increase compared to 2018. The group claims its private label accounted for 19.8% of total food sales. DESPAR estimates its private label range will grow by 3% in 2020.


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