Italy: investment and growth

Date : 06 November 2017

As Crai discusses its outlook for its turnover in 2017 and Sogegross, Coop Italia and Coop Alliance 3.0 look at their investment plans for the short term, we round up news from Italy.

Crai forecasts sustained growth in 2017

Speaking at Il Sole 24 Ore's Consumer & Retail Summit Crai’s chief executive, Marco Bordoli, said the retailer was confident that 2017’s revenue growth will be similar to that seen in 2016. Bordoli said that in 2016 Crai had enjoyed revenue growth of 9%, to €5.8 bn, and that it could exceed that in 2017. He noted that revenue growth to the end of August stood at 6%, mainly driven by the opening of new stores, in both the food and pharmacy channels.

Meanwhile the retailer has run a TV commercial spotlighting its commitment to selecting and buying locally produced ranges from all over Italy. Servicing the new stores and aiding its freshness pledges Crai has also opened a new fruit and vegetables platform that centralises purchases. The centre, in Segrate, in the Lombardy region of northern Italy is 2,000 sq. m and will support its 14 other distribution centres in the country.

Coop members to maintain investment in 2017

In an interview in Distribuzione Moderna, Coop Italia’s president, Marco Pedroni, has said that Coop is growing faster than the market in 2017. Pedroni said that Coop’s members had seen net sales rise 1.6% in the first nine months of the year, versus a market average of 0.9%.

To sustain the pace of growth he said that its members were working on opening 10 new stores, one hypermarket and nine supermarkets, and updating 90 more. Pedroni said members were not focused on adding further selling space, choosing instead to enhance existing stores, especially their hypermarkets. To maximise stores’ potential, he said that health and wellbeing was a category that it and its members were looking closely at. Pedroni said that Coop members were not focused on entering the discount channel, choosing instead to invest in the channels they know well, while also looking to expand online.

Coop Alliance 3.0 shows off investment in Reggio Emilia

In the interview Pedroni highlighted the investment being made by Coop Alliance 3.0 in its hypermarkets. The cooperative, meanwhile, has reopened a hypermarket in Reggio Emilia, which was previously updated in 2008. Following an investment of €6.7m, the 6,500 sq. m store has been renewed to put a greater focus on regional specialities, organic and fresh fruit and vegetables ranges. To create a destination store offer the cooperative has added a restaurant, café, ice cream and yoghurt bar.

Sogegross to invest €100m in medium term

Sogegross has announced it is to invest €100m into its store portfolio as it looks to generate more than €1.0 bn in sales by 2020. It generated a turnover of more than €800m in 2016 and is expecting to reach €880m by the end of 2017. The company said €30m would be spent on remodelling existing stores, a further €30m on building a fresh produce storage unit in Genoa, with the rest to be invested in new stores and acquisitions.