In the history of the Italian food retail industry there have been several moments in which penetrating overseas markets was not only possible, but also strategically desirable. Nowadays new challenges are to be overcome to seize this opportunity. To succeed, Italian food retail should focus on the following:
– Consistency between positioning in Italy and abroad, being aware of the scope of both international and native competitors.
– Innovation in consumer experience: atmosphere, uniqueness and distinctiveness.
– Professionals able to deal with distant cultures and law environments.
– Training of suppliers to face new markets.
– Logistics benefiting from groupage shipments and fast customs clearance for goods upon arrival.
– Communication of Italian style through a unifying criterion, from the label of the products to the logo of the chain.
– Integration of local management, alliances and joint ventures with industry representatives of the target country.
– Sustainability, to promote "green" practices in the retail sector (see the PLEF initiative).