High prices affected family budgets. This is how discount stores are increasingly being used: a change in habits and consumption to make ends meet. The latest data processed by Nielsen like4like for Fida Confcommercio and Federdistribuzione shows a jump of more than 10% in trading volume in September. For Donatella Prampolini di Fida “discount stores have dismantled supermarket and hypermarket channels,” while for Federdistribuzione the figure confirms a growth trend that has been evident for some time.
Istat: Discount sales rose 12.3% in July
The readings are different, but one thing is for sure: the discount is the only channel in the food business that has increased the number of pieces sold. In the period from January to August 2022, “low-cost markets” recorded an increase in sales volumes of about 3 points compared to the same period in the previous year. Istat, in its latest survey, also depicted an important dynamic: in July, the sales volume of discount stores grew by 12.3%, which led to the separation of supermarket channels and supermarket channels by at least 5 points.
Fear for the future and saving in spending
Thus, the discount is increasingly necessary for Italians who are losing purchasing power. Brampolini has no doubt: “It is a fact that follows the stomachs of the people: people are afraid, afraid of the future and trying to save on spending. This also happened with the crisis of 2009. With the growth of bills, so will the volume of sales of discount stores ».
The boom is linked to an increase in bills
The sector has been in good health for some time, but for Brambolini the recent increase is directly related to the expensive bills. “The supermarket is struggling to maintain inflation, it is losing in terms of pieces sold, while the discount is growing.” Carlo Alberto Butarelli, of the Federdistribuzione Research Office, is more cautious. “The opponent is accelerating, of course. It is the acquisition of new customers, consisting of people who are looking for savings, but there is no turning point.” In short, consumption changes, but there will be no low-cost fever. Buttarelli insists on a “discount supermarket”: citizens will also choose him for his increased interest in quality.
The president of Fida-Confcommercio also spoke of “cyclical trends”. Currently, families are moving to the discount store because it is the only leverage they can use to deal with the higher prices. When there are answers to energy issues, people will come back to choose the high quality of supermarkets and hypermarkets.” Pending Italian consumer behavior in the future, Istat also comments on the data in a decisive way: “At the moment, the discount is a sector that is growing stronger than others”
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