Optimism returns to Italian Retail after the first six months of 2017. But...

28 Sep 2017

A turning point for Italian Retail. Back in August, Nielsen's figures on consumption in Europe for the second quarter of this year, saw Italy (+ 4% compared to 2016) ahead of France (+ 3.2%), the UK (+2.9%), Spain (+2.9%) and Germany (+ 2.3%). The growth in value of Italian GDO (Large Retail Organisation) is reflected in the increase in sales volumes (+3.1%) and in the rise in consumer prices of Fast Mobbing Consumer Goods (+ 0.9%). Households have responded to inflation by buying more shop branded products at discount stores and at dedicated home and personal care stores.

A few days ago, at the Retail Summit held in Stresa, a study presented by EY Italia in collaboration with Confimprese and the Food group seemed to confirm this optimistic outlook. According to EY, "Italian Retail is growing and the market is presenting encouraging scenarios, driven mainly by the food and fashion sectors. The value of Food & Beverage 16% of the total market, with growth in Italy at +1.5% and exports at +5%. Over the next two years, the growth of the luxury sector is forecasted at about +13%, especially thanks to 'Made in Italy', which is driving the expansion of Italian retailers abroad, following a franchising model.  The presence of Italian chains abroad is still lower than other foreign chains, but the trend has begun to progress into double-digits, year-on-year." For the next two years, a 2.7% growth in business is expected and in 2018, at least 20,000 new hires are expected in the industry. Italian Distribution is worth around 920 billion euros, through a network of 750 thousand points of sale. Among the most important indications is the positive role played by the consumer market in the convergence of traditional commerce and digital commerce. This confirms postchannel as an essential part of Italian and international retail transformation. Within the general picture of optimism however, there are not a lack of concerns: for Findomestic, for example, household consumption in the immediate future could be negatively affected by the rising cost of sending children to school (+ 13% on 2016). And the possibility of unemployment remains an inescapable nightmare.