In recent times we have been receiving numerous requests for advice on how to open an Italian supermarket abroad. Many of our compatriots are interested in starting a business of this kind. Not only that: several foreign retail business owners would like to convert (or expand) their stores by selling Italian products. In this article, we will give you some basic tips for opening an Italian supermarket abroad.
A premise is a must: Bell Italia is a wholesaler of consumer goods, specialized in the export of Italian food and non-food products. As a company, therefore, we do not directly manage points of sale or affiliate supermarkets. We are suppliers to over a thousand independent retail and wholesale businesses located throughout the world. Consequently, the information you are about to read should be interpreted as simple tips for opening an Italian supermarket abroad. That is not an exact science, but the result of a daily confrontation with our customers, of a global vision of foreign markets, of our experience in the sector.
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Are you ready to read our 5 tips for opening an Italian supermarket abroad? Read on and, if you like, leave your opinion in the comments.
You probably already know why opening an Italian supermarket abroad can be an interesting and profitable idea. Italian-made products, especially food, but also items for personal and surface cleanliness, are highly appreciated and in demand all over the world. Abroad, however, it is often difficult to find them, or they can be found, but at very high prices. Numerous large supermarket chains have a corner dedicated to Italian products: the assortment, however, is limited and there are rarely any noteworthy promotions. Some brands are almost impossible to find!
For consumers who choose to buy online, marketplaces offer high minimum orders, little variety, and delivery times that are not very short. What about Italian cured meats and cheeses? It is easy to find them abroad in large cities, while elsewhere it is much more complicated. In short, it seems that by opening an Italian supermarket you would bring… “a breath of made in Italy” somewhere in the world!
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Therefore, if you believe that in the country where you live (or perhaps where you would like to move) it would be worth opening an Italian supermarket, you have to consider some elements and ask yourself some questions. Are you located in a big or small city? How far from Italy? This detail is important because it can affect the logistical costs of the goods you order and, therefore, your prices to the public. Better inquire with some haulers to understand how much it costs and how long it takes to transport goods from Dante’s birthplace to your location.
Which user are you targeting? Studying your potential customers is very important and will help you understand how to define your assortment and on which price ranges to position yourself. Who are your competitors? Study their prices and assortment and understand their strengths (to emulate them) and weaknesses (to do better than them).
The opening of any business must be carefully planned, making an estimate as accurate as possible of costs and revenues. Drawing up a business plan is therefore essential. How big is the room and what are the main cost items (rent, utilities, staff)? How much is the initial investment? Opening an Italian supermarket abroad will also involve the purchase of shelving, cash registers and software, forklifts, etc. You must also consider the amount of the starting order, i.e. the goods that will form the first assortment of your store.
Evaluate if your country offers incentives for opening new businesses and, if possible, benefit from them. Furthermore, be informed about all the obligations that subject the import of food and no food from Italy: duties, certifications, product labeling rules. Don’t leave anything to chance!
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Once you have chosen the place and after having classified the catchment area and the type of users you are targeting, you will have to define the assortment of your Italian supermarket abroad. The first step is to select, for each product category, one/two top brands in the medium-high range, to be accompanied by a “minor” or cheaper brand. For example, as coffee, you should choose Lavazza, Illy, and Kimbo.
The references dealt with will depend mainly on the space you have available, but also on the tastes of your customers. For some products, it will be enough to propose only the leading brand, while for others you can also consider non-branded solutions to offer, perhaps, an even more incisive price. We suggest you always focus on the quality of the assortment: in the long run, it always rewards, you will see!
Be prepared to carefully monitor product rotations. If some of them “rotate” too little, that is, they are snubbed by customers, you can choose others to replace them or give space to different product categories. Always investigate why an item you selected did poorly. Is it a price issue? Is it underappreciated? The constant analysis of rotations, as well as the satisfaction of those who buy in your store, will serve as a reinforcement for your right choices and as an indicator for what you will need to correct. Always question yourself, even when things are going well!
On this advice, we admit, we are a bit biased. Know that choosing the right suppliers will be essential for the success of your project. You can decide to buy the goods directly from the manufacturing companies; or from wholesalers in your area. But the winning choice, believe me, will be entrusting yourself to Bell Italia.
We are, in fact, the most reliable and affordable Italian wholesaler of consumer goods. We are specialized in groupage and we constantly assist our customers, helping them not only to optimize the loads but also to manage all the practices and certifications, both relating to logistics and customs. You will be able to define the assortment of your Italian supermarket abroad by choosing among over 10,000 carefully selected references, focusing on the strength of our prices and our service.
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From Italy with love: this has been Bell Italia’s motto since 2010. Contact our sales assistants Ezia Caputo (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Giovanna Caprioli (email@example.com). Find out how easy and convenient it is to buy the best of quality Italian food and no food and receive i in a few days, no matter where you are. Thousands of customers from all over the world rely on us every day. Will you be the next one?