In the food retail industry there are different organizational models for penetration into foreign markets. As they opened chains overseas, many companies were able to create symbioses between their national food production and distribution models, as well as connect with international suppliers. While there are some corporations that started up as global retailers, there also are paradigms indicating the industrial mindset of the country of origin:
– The Cash&Carry and "Discount" model (e.g. LIDL) based on a kind of standardization and efficiency rooted in Germany;
– The hypermarket and shopping mall model, with a "critical mass" approach typical of French centralism;
– 24/7 convenience stores, providing pragmatic and essential services originating in the Anglo-Saxon mentality;
The Italian style grafts into a relationship model. This is seen in small and medium-sized enterprises, the so-called proximity shops, which have developed through cooperation, association and/or franchising. Beyond the food retail sector, relationship marketing is embedded in the Italian culture as a whole.