Casino is set to open Leader Price stores in Italy, after its subsidiary Geimex entered into a joint venture partnership with Italian retail group CRAI.
Making the most of CRAI's local knowledge
The agreement will see Geimex, owner of the Leader Price brand outside France, grant CRAI the franchise to operate the discount format in Italy. The first stores should open in H1 2017. Casino is now the full owner of Geimex, having acquired the remaining 50% stake in May 2015.
Italian market conditions encouraging discount development
Leader Price's private label focus should help it in Italy, as retailers look to improve price perceptions and create points of difference from their rivals. Stores stores stock approximately 3,500 SKUs and cover 90% of food needs. Leader Price used to be unique in being a 100% own-brand discount banner, but some brands have now been introduced.
The current environment in Italy could also boost discount development. Economic conditions remain challenging, maintaining a period of difficulty for suppliers and retailers looking to drive volume and value growth. These conditions, exacerbated by high unemployment levels, are likely to persist in the short term.
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