Grand Frais, the French grocery chain that has earned itself the title of ‘category killer’ in the grocery retail business by focusing solely on quality fresh food at affordable prices, is preparing to make its first foray into the international market by opening its first store in Italy.
The store is understood to be located in Beinasco, just to the south-west of Turin in the region of Piedmont, and is scheduled to open this month – although the official opening could be delayed.
The move, which underlines the potential for new operators to disrupt the Italian grocery market as German chain Lidl and homegrown discounter Eurospin have already done, will no doubt have the Italy’s established food retailers on high alert.
Germany’s other multinational discounter, Aldi, recently announced it was actively seeking sites around Verona for its first Italian stores, which it plans to open in 2017.
According to a report in Italian newspaper Il Sole 24 Ore, Francesco Pugliese, managing director of leading Italian supermarket operator Conad, told colleagues at a meeting of franchise partners belonging to Conad del Tirreno: “Grand Frais, a French brand specialised in fresh produce, meat and delicatessen, is about to arrive in Italy and will open soon in Piedmont. If we again stand by and watch on passively, we won’t fall prey to it, we will be dead.”