Italy’s Gruppo VéGé is aiming to accelerate its new store openings next year, with the group set to unveil 131 new outlets over the course of 2022.
The retail cooperative, which consists of 35 associated companies, is also targeting fifth spot in terms of Italian grocery market share (7.5%).
To achieve these goals, the group plans to take its total number of stores to more than 3,800 next year, accounting for more than 2.75 million square metres of retail space.
Commercial And Marketing Strategy
The details were announced during a presentation of Gruppo VéGé’s 2020 commercial and marketing strategy to over 500 brand managers.
Plans include the purchase of stores from competitors and exiting store renovations, with a focus on proximity formats.
The retailer will be focusing on environmental, social and economic sustainability, with prominence given to initiatives dedicated to nutritional sustainability and the fight against food waste.
In addition, Gruppo VéGé is promising an ambitious promotional plan that should enable customers to save over €510 million.
'Severe Stress Test'
According to Gruppo VéGé chief executive Giorgio Santambrogio, the past two years have been “a severe stress test” for the retail and consumer goods landscape in Italy.
Elsewhere, commercial director Edoardo Gamboni warned that inflation rose in October for the fourth consecutive month, warning that this could be a “destabilising element” and indication of “less favourable scenarios”.
Speaking to daily Affari Italiani, Santambrogio warned of a “perfect storm” resulting from the price increases the food industry is demanding from large retailers, but also due to the soaring costs of utilities, pallets, transport and raw materials.
“If these prices were passed on directly to the consumer, we would have a massive drop of consumption and a definitive shift to discount stores”, said Santambrogio, adding that Gruppo VéGé has opted to postpone price list increases.
As the retail market is increasingly competitive and complex, with shrinking margins, he expects that the process of concentration will continue.
Excluding the discounters, which have a different strategy in their relationship with suppliers and customers, according to Santambrogio it is plausible that in the future there will be five large entities: Conad (with Finiper), Coop, Esselunga, ESD (with Selex at the head) and Aicube 4.0 (headed by Gruppo VéGé).
Gruppo VéGé recently announced the return of the Coal retail group to its retailer cooperative.