The giant bends to proximity: Esselunga invests 300 million in neighborhood stores

  • 13 May 2020
  • Written by: Maria Teresa Moschillo


The lesson imparted by Covid-19 served to the Italian giant of the large food distribution, Esselunga.
After seeing its entire system literally collapse under the weight of demand (see article Food retail and coronavirus: David’s revenge against Goliath), Esselunga has decided to invest 300 million euros in the opening of 10 LaEsse brand stores, starting right from Milan, the city more affected by the emergency and in which the difficulties in shopping were manifested more than elsewhere.
It will not be simple small shops, however, but small shops that will be able to combine proximity and hyper-technology.
The concept of these stores is decidedly innovative.
You can go shopping but there will be no checkouts. To pay, the customer will place the products in a compartment in which the system will automatically recognize their prices and calculate the final amount.
There will also be a section dedicated to lockers, for customers who have done their shopping online (choosing from over 15 thousand references) and where they can collect their purchases.
Finally, there will be a bar where you can have lunch after placing your orders through a digital totem.
The group with 8.1 billion in revenues and 161 stores and superstores is the first Italian company to invest in a model without fundamentalism. Not all digital, not all physical.
Lesson learned.

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