Italian discounter MD has registered a 16% increase in turnover during the first half of 2020, compared to the same period last year.
This performance, achieved amid the coronavirus pandemic, is even more significant as data from Nielsen reveals that prices to the public between January and May 2020 were down by 0.5% year-on-year, with a 1% drop in May alone.
The retailer confirmed its €1 billion investment plan for the period 2018 to 2021.
It has allocated €250 million for the current year and 2021, out of which it has already invested over €6 million to implement safety measures for employees and customers.
Given the exponential increase in online shopping, MD has devoted significant resources to digital and smart payments.
In the period January-May, online sales of non-food products grew by 70% compared to the same period in 2019.
Digital payments, which reached peaks of 80% - 90% during the lockdown period, will be one of the areas in which the retailer will continue to invest.
The lockdown and health emergency slowed but did not stop the company's expansion plan, which saw the opening of 10 directly owned and seven affiliated stores in the first half of 2020.
In addition, the retailer has planned 15 new store openings by the end of this year.
At the beginning of October, MD opened new stores in Orbassano and Leinì in the province of Turin, where it now operates 19 stores.
Both stores are equipped with six checkouts and the assortment includes a selection of certified DOP, DOC, and IGP products.
The fruit and vegetables sections offer organic, seasonal products, while the non-food section has a selection of electronic and hi-tech products, as well as household goods.
According to a Nielsen study on the FMCG market for the period between September 2016 to September 2020, MD emerged as the retailer with the fifth highest growth rate (+0.94%) after Gruppo VèGè (+3.46%), Conad (+2.87%), Lidl Italia (+1.65) and Eurospin (+1.12%).
Another survey by Italian consumers association Altroconsumo reveals that MD is seen as one of the 'most convenient' discounters in Italy, along with Aldi, Eurospin and Penny Market.
MD is the second biggest player in Italy’s discount sector with over 800 stores, served by eight logistics centres.
It holds a 16% market share and closed 2019 with a turnover of €2.75 billion, up 10% compared with 2018.
© 2020 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.