The retail cooperative, which consists of 35 associated companies, is also targeting fifth spot in terms of Italian grocery market share (7.5 per cent).

To achieve these goals, the group plans to take its total number of stores to more than 3,800 next year, accounting for more than 2.75 million square metres of retail space. The details were announced during a presentation of Gruppo VéGé’s 2020 commercial and marketing strategy to over 500 brand managers.

Plans include the purchase of stores from competitors and exiting store renovations, with a focus on proximity formats. The retailer will be focusing on environmental, social and economic sustainability, with prominence to initiatives dedicated to nutritional sustainability and the fight against food waste, with the active participation of customers. In addition, Gruppo VéGé is promising an ambitious promotional plan that should enable customers to save over €510M.

According to Gruppo VéGé Chief Executive Giorgio Santambrogio, the past two years have been “a severe stress test” for the retail and consumer goods landscape in Italy. Elsewhere, Commercial Director Edoardo Gamboni warned that inflation rose in October for the fourth consecutive month, warning that this could be a “destabilising element” and indication of “less favourable scenarios”.