Italian Supermarket Store Sales To Decline In 2021, Study Finds

By Branislav Pekic
Share this article
Italian Supermarket Store Sales To Decline In 2021, Study Finds

Italy will witness a 2.6% decline in sales in supermarkets in 2021, while discount stores look set to buck the trend, a new report from the Coop cooperative and Nomisma has revealed.

The study surveyed managers of the major companies in the Italian food sector.

Italy ended 2020 with a 4.2% increase in sales across the large-scale retail distribution channel.

During Christmas week, sales grew by 8%, as the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in further closures of the HoReCa channel, boosting in-home consumption.

Last year, the worsening economic situation contributed to the growth of discount stores (+9.1%), self-service (+5.8%) and e-commerce (+140%) channels, while hypermarkets saw a sales decline of 2.8% year-on-year.


Other Predictions

Southern Italy looks set experience more difficulties, according to the study, while losses in the northern regions will be less pronounced, partly due to the strong growth of e-commerce (+62% according to Nielsen estimates) in those areas.

E-commerce represents a significant dilemma for operators in the food supply chain, the study noted.

A majority (60%) of respondents see the growth of online as a threat, as they believe it will 'cannibalise' the physical store network and add further costs to the sector's already precarious financial situation.

For the remaining 40%, it represents an opportunity to provide better services to consumers.


Economic Crisis

Other challenges in 2021 include the threat of a looming economic crisis, once the COVID-19 pandemic subsides, and its consequent impact on demand.

Around 27% of the respondents expect a drop in food and FMCG purchases, the study found.

The 'slow cooking' trend will continue, with Italians continuing to spend less, buying more basic ingredients and fewer ready-made dishes, while focusing on quality and wholesomeness.

Purchases will be more focused on food produced with Italian (+53%) and natural or sustainable raw materials (+48%), as well as fresh ingredients (+52%) poised to see the most growth.

© 2021 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Branislav Pekic. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine.

Get the week's top grocery retail news

The most important stories from European grocery retail direct to your inbox every Thursday

Processing your request...

Thanks! please check your email to confirm your subscription.

By signing up you are agreeing to our terms & conditions and privacy policy. You can unsubscribe at any time.