Italy

BUONGIORNO! (Hello!)
ARRIVEDERCI! (Bye!)
Land area
301,277 km2
Population
60.0 million
Currency
euro [EUR]

The Southern European republic of Italy is regarded as the gateway to Europe’s Mediterranean neighbours in the south. This country occupying the Apennine Peninsula is among the world’s largest economies and, with a population of about 60 million, is one of Europe’s key consumer markets. Still, Italy’s economic situation is challenging: the country is facing a high level of unemployment and debt along with waning domestic demand. There is a clear divide between the northern and southern parts of the country: the purchasing power in the industrialised north is significantly higher than in the less affluent south. This division is also reflected in the retail landscape. While traditional formats continue to dominate the market in southern Italy, food retail in the northern regions is more developed, modern and diverse. But one thing remains true for the entire country: food quality is very important to Italian consumers. Italians spend about 17 per cent of their income on groceries, non-alcoholic beverages and tobacco.

High performance at lower costs

The discrepancy between the affluent north and the less affluent south also affects retailing. METRO Cash & Carry stores in the southern regions have had to contend with consumers’ price sensitivity and have been in danger of losing their competitiveness. However, help has come in the form of METRO Piazza Affari, which was introduced at the METRO Cash & Carry store in Pescara at the beginning of 2013 and, thanks to its success, has since been extended to other locations. The concept is built on the three pillars of cost, price and quantity. To substantially reduce costs, stores are stocked with a smaller range, featuring a selection of groceries and non-food items that is scaled down by 50 and 70 per cent respectively. As for price, the METRO Piazza Affari stores draw customers with over 2,000 products that are sold for 10 per cent less than in other stores or by competitors. The targeted market share and growth are achieved by selling a higher quantity of goods. In Pescara, METRO Piazza Affari has been a resounding success: while the store posted a reduction in turnover of 21 per cent in 2011, the introduction of METRO Piazza Affari led to a turnover increase of 8 per cent. The store was also able to successfully close the past financial year with growth of 7 per cent. This trend is continuing in the present financial year, and METRO Cash & Carry is regaining its position as the leading wholesaler in the region. By the way, METRO Piazza Affari has also made a clear impression on the industry. In March 2014, the concept was distinguished with the Innov@Retail Award presented by the financial newspaper Il Sole 24 Ore. METRO Cash & Carry Italy received the award in the category of “Best Store – Best Format Innovation” for having paid unique attention to the local socio-economic context.

Travel tips

Restaurant tip

Da Vittorio

Via Cantalupa 17
24060 Brusaporto

Google Maps

www.davittorio.com

Da Vittorio, a family-run three-star restaurant near Bergamo, features regional specialities that combine the tradition of the Lombardy region with creative genius.

Da Vittorio, a family-run three-star restaurant near Bergamo, features regional specialities that combine the tradition of the Lombardy region with creative genius.

Restaurant tip

Globe Restaurant & Lounge Bar

Piazza 5 Giornate 1
20129 Milan

Google Maps

www.globeinmilano.it

Hotel tip

Boscolo Milano

Corso Matteotti 4-6
20121 Milan

Google Maps

milano.boscolohotels.com

Hotel tip

Michelangelo

Via della Stazione di San Pietro 14
00165 Rome

Google Maps

www.starhotels.com

Close to Vatican City and the historical city centre of Rome, the luxury hotel Michelangelo offers many elegant rooms with an impressive view of the dome of St Peter’s Basilica.

Close to Vatican City and the historical city centre of Rome, the luxury hotel Michelangelo offers many elegant rooms with an impressive view of the dome of St Peter’s Basilica.

Etiquette

In Italy, the waiter shows restaurant guests to their seats. The classic end to a meal is an espresso. Italians only drink cappuccino in the morning with their breakfast.

Facts & figures

METRO Cash & Carry Italy

Market entry
1972
Head Office
San Donato Milanese
Number of wholesale stores
49
Number of employees
4,429