Italy flag Italy: Buying and Selling

The distribution network in Italy

Evolution of the Sector
According to Federdistribuzione, in 2019 grocery retailers reported sales of €119.9 billion. In 2019, hypermarkets accounted for 10% of the total grocery store space in Italy, while supermarkets represented 44.2%. Traditional grocery retailers in Italy continue to account for a largest share of outlets. The majority of hypermarkets are located in the North of Italy, whereas supermarkets are equally distributed. While modern grocers were in total nearly 75%, there were more than 25% of traditional grocery outlets. In 2019 the number of independent operators continued to decline even though Italian consumers continue to appreciate traditional food stores. The increased purchases of organic products prompted by health and wellness concerns has been instrumental to the growth of Natura Sì, whose number of outlets rose to 289 in 2019.
Market share
The Italian food retail and distribution market is highly competitive. According to Federdistribuzione, the leading players in this market in 2019 are Conad (13.8% market share), Coop Italia (13% market share), Selex (10.1% market share), Esselunga (8.9% market share), Gruppo Vege (7% market share), Eurospin (6.3% market share), Carrefour (5.7% market share) and Lidl Italia (4.3% market share). Despite the continued presence of traditional outlets, as well as increased competition from domestic and international retailers, these retailers occupy a dominant position in the market. Some of the leading players - Coop Italia and Conad - exist as consortia of smaller operators and owe some of their success to their detailed knowledge of local requirements and shoppers' preferences. The principal foreign investors are the major French retailers Carrefour and Auchan.
Retail Sector Organisations
Lega Coop

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Latest Update: June 2022

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