Italy flag Italy: Buying and Selling

The distribution network in Italy

Evolution of the Sector
According to USDA, in 2021 food retailers reported sales of EUR 167.8 billion, 2.9% more than in 2020. In 2021, hypermarkets accounted for 14.1% of the total grocery retailers sales in Italy, while supermarkets represented 35.5% and traditional grocery stores 24.9% (USDA). In 2020, there were more than 8,800 supermarkets and superstores, around 340 hypermarkets and more than 191,500 traditional grocery stores (Federdistribuzione). 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. In 2020 the number of independent operators continued to decline even though Italian consumers continue to appreciate traditional food stores (Federdistribuzione). The increased purchases of organic products prompted by health and wellness concerns has been instrumental to the growth of Natura Sì, whose total number of outlets rose to 364 globally in 2022 (Natura Sì).
Market share
The Italian food retail and distribution market is highly competitive. In 2021, the leading players in this market were Conad (15% market share), Selex (14.5%), Coop Italia (12.3%), Esselunga (8.3%), Gruppo Vege (7.1%), Eurospin (6.9%), Carrefour (5.1%) and Lidl Italia (4.7%) (Statista). 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

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Latest Update: July 2024