The large-scale food retail sector reported 6.7% sales growth in Italy in 2022, albeit with EBIT margin declining to 1.4%, from 2.4% the previous year, new data has shown.
The figures come from the annual Observatory on the Italian retail sector conducted by Mediobanca, which compiled data from 130 companies, accounting for 97.6% of the market.
According to Mediobanca's study, high inflation threatens consumer demand, 'eroding consumers' purchasing power', despite the increase in sales last year.
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Private Label And Discounters
Private label sales grew by 9.4% in 2022, the study found, while the discount channel saw 11.1% annual growth and now accounts for over 22% of the market (compared to 17.4% in 2017). Additional growth of 5% is estimated for this channel in 2023.
Elsewhere, the growth of the online channel continues (+10.5% on 2021), but the segment still holds just 3% of total sales.
The market share of the top five retailers in Italy is stable at 57.1%, above that of Spain (49.8%), but well below that of the Netherlands (80.1%) France (78.4%), the UK (75.4%) and Germany (75%).
MD Leads The Way
Italian discounter MD saw the highest sales growth between 2017 and 2021, the study found, with an annual average of +9.7%, followed by Lidl Italia (+8%), Agora' (+7.6%), Eurospin (+6.9%), Conad (+6.7%) and Selex (+5.2%).
In terms of cumulative profit gain, Eurospin was the best performer over the period, with profits of nearly €1.3 billion, surpassing Esselunga (€1.2 billion), Gruppo VéGé (€1.1 billion) and Selex (€1.06 billion).
Coop Alleanza 3.0 is Italy's largest cooperative, boasting 2021 sales of €4.3 billion, followed by PAC 2000 A (Conad) with €3.9 billion, Conad Nord Ovest with €2.7 billion and Unicoop Firenze with €2.3 billion.