Italy: results, collaboration, and expansion

Date : 28 September 2020

Lucy Bellotti

Retail Analyst

As Crai plans to continue its expansion plans throughout 2020 as Carrefour and Decathlon launch a partnership to offer shoppers more sport and well-being products in Milan and Esselunga releases H1 results, we round up news from the market.

Esselunga sees sales advance slightly in H1

Esselunga said sales rose 0.9% to €4.06 bn in the first half of the financial year, helped by the opening of three stores, two superstores and one supermarket, and some level of price inflation. The retailer said the performance was pleasing given the restrictions on trade implemented because of COVID-19 lockdown measures in March and April. Lockdown measures led to the extended closure of its Atlantic Bars and Esserbella perfumeries and limited shoppers’ ability to travel to its stores. Esselunga said excluding the Atlantic Bars and Esserbella perfumeries, sales rose 1.9%. The retailer said it continued to invest in prices, with shelf prices rising by 1.7% at its stores, versus an industry average of 3%. It said it would continue to invest in prices to keep them low for shoppers.

Crai plans for expansion during COVID-19

Crai plans to open 215 new stores by the end of 2020, to help underpin sales growth, despite the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. The retailer also stated its H1 2020 growth was above the market average due to its high presence in local neighbourhoods.

Crai generated a turnover of €6 bn in 2019, through a network of 3,100 stores. The retailer claims it opened 148 food stores and 80 other specialist stores. In 2020, Crai said it had seen strong online growth, although from a low base. To benefit from growing shopper interest in ecommerce it plans to expand its fulfilment capacity and offer more delivery slots and click and collect options in 2021.

Carrefour Italia partners with Decathlon

Carrefour and Decathlon have announced a partnership to expand the former’s range of sport and well-being products. Decathlon has a range in seven Carrefour stores in Milan, which includes four Carrefour Market and three Carrefour Express.

The seven stores offer shoppers a selection of fitness, running and swimming products, along with a wide range of sport nutrition goods. Carrefour Italy’s commercial director, Roberto Simonetto, said, ‘the development of an offer in local stores is now more appreciated than ever’ due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

Coop Italia publishes annual report

Coop Italia has published its annual report looking at the changing tastes of shoppers in Italy. The report suggests discounters and online have gained because of the COVID-19 pandemic, especially between June and August. However, superstores performed well during the period, with hypermarkets and independent retailers suffering the most from the lockdown. Commenting on its own performance, Coop Italia said it expects its retail arm to grow sales by between 1% and 1.5% in 2020, which will see sales exceed €13 bn.

Retail Analysis newsletter

Keep up-to-date with the latest retail developments shaping the industry. Twice a week, direct to your inbox.

Sign up for our newsletter »