The standard model of a 15,000 square metre hypermarket, which dates back to the 1990s, is now a relic of the past, with most of the major players reducing the sales area, lowering their exposure to non-food, and offering surplus space to other retailers.
Regional cooperative Coop Lombardia is doing just that with its 14 hypermarkets, in which space will be reduced to less than 5,000 square metres.
Speaking to daily Il Sole 24 Ore, the president of Coop Lombardia, Daniele Ferré, pointed out that hypermarkets have lost 12% of sales in value and market share to discount stores and the online channel.
Of the seven Ipercoop stores in the Lombardy region, three have already been downsized, while others will be adapted in the near future.
In Cantù, near Como, for example, the Mirabello shopping centre has been reduced from 7,000 square metres to 4,300 square metres, with a reduction of over 50% in the offer of non-food products.
Bennet And Conad
Bennet has already remodelled its hypermarkets in Lentate sul Seveso and Tavernola, while Conad is transforming hypermarkets in Lombardy that inherited from the acquisition of Auchan in Italy, rebranding them as Spazio Conad and reducing the sales area to around 5,000 square metres.
However, there are still players who remain faithful to the hypermarket model.
Carrefour, which introduced the hypermarket format to Italy many years ago, has seven such stores with over 5,000 square metres in Lombardy, while Iper La Grande i has in fact added 2,000 square metres at its Rozzano store near Milan, taking the total space to 10,500 square metres.