Italian retailer Conad is closing 2020 with a double-digit increase in turnover, strengthening its market leadership in the country.
In a statement, Conad said that its 2020 turnover stood at €15.7 billion, a 10.2% increase, putting it on a market share of 14.8%, an increase of one percentage point.
In the supermarket channel, Conad holds a market share of 24.2%, boosted by the integration of the former Auchan Retail Italia business, which has now been completed, it said.
The group added that while it posted positive sales at a group level, its proximity channels outperformed due to the effects of the COVID-19 crisis, while its hypermarkets declined.
The group's private label ranges now account for 31% of its turnover, recording sales of €4.5 billion, it said. Its private label range now encompasses 4,978 SKUs, including 500 new launches in the past year.
According to chief executive Francesco Pugliese, despite the effects of the coronavirus, Conad has "guaranteed continuity of service and supply, concluded the Auchan transaction in compliance with plans and forecasts, [...] initiated the modernisation of the network and increased the sale of Conad-branded products.
"We are satisfied but not happy, because the country is facing a difficult recovery phase and the Italian distribution system as a whole is in a critical situation."
Conad has achieved a 61% increase in turnover over the past ten years, seeing a 5% increase in market share over the same period – it achieved market leadership last year.
The group has targeted store openings in the less populated areas of the country, with 500 stores now active in municipalities with less than 5,000 inhabitants. This process is likely to be boosted by the Auchan Retail acquisition.
It is also investing in digitisation, rolling out a new e-commerce platform this year, and sustainability, increasing its dependance on local suppliers and implementing initiatives to reduce CO2 emissions.
"Multichannel, development of Conad brand products, sustainability, digitalisation: these are Conad's strategic guidelines," said Conad general manager Francesco Avanzini. "With the integration of the Auchan stores, we want to become decisive in all channels.
"To make our network even more effective in meeting customer needs, we have introduced an investment plan worth €1.487 billion over three years for the modernisation of all types of sales points."
© 2020 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Stephen Wynne-Jones. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: European Supermarket Magazine.