The group will open its first store in Lombardy, in Mariano Comense near Como, in December.
By 2026, the retailer plans to invest over €320 million to open 60 stores in the Lombardy region, both directly-owned and affiliated, general manager Filippo Fabri told daily Il Sole 24 Ore.
He admitted that Despar Italia will encounter strong competition in Lombardy, but expressed confidence "that we will be able to do well as we did a few years ago in Emilia Romagna".
From 2023, Despar Italia will also expand its presence to Lazio, the other major region in which it is still absent.
During 2022, the group undertook 38 store openings and refurbished a number of outlets throughout Italy.
In the year to September 2022, Despar Italia reported 9.8% year-on-year value sales growth, well above the market average of +5.3%, according to Nielsen data.
Contributing to the positive result was a record tourist season, with the retailer boasting a strong presence in many tourism-driven regions.
A significant contribution also came from private label products, which account for 21.4% of the group’s total business.
During this year, Despar Italia launched over 220 new products and restyled about 300, while 250 new private label products will be launched in 2023, setting a 2025 target of 25% of sales coming from private label products.