What will supermarkets look like, in the future? Mario Gasbarrino, president of Unes Supermercati, tried to answer this question at the Cdo Agroalimentare Forum on the 26th of January 2019.
Gasbarrino stated, "Shops and supermarkets, in the future will necessarily change. They will be smaller as some of the products will be delivered directly at home thanks to e-commerce. In 10 years, supermarkets will not be the same. They will become 'touchpoints', where customers could see, maybe sample and finally purchase products with a click, then they will be delivered at home. These shops will be increasingly specialised".
Unes is active in Italy with more than 190 supermarkets, specifically in Lombardia, Piemonte and Emilia Romagna. Unes holds two brands with different marketing strategies: U2 Supermercato, characterised by the Every Day Low Price strategy and U! Come tu mi Vuoi, traditional supermarkets characterised by High Low strategy.
The Unes president continued, "By specialised, I mean hybridised and multi-corner. This means that shops will sell one brand only. It is not possible to make everyone happy. It will be necessary to choose suppliers and customers".
Before an audience composed by agri-food entrepreneurs from all over Italy, Gasbarrino claimed that "online auctions are disreputable. I want to look the supplier in the eyes, I want to understand how she works and how she could work, if she can adapt to changes or not. We are not interested in the lowest price day-by-day".
Unes is the most innovative chain: it was the first one to sign an agreement with Amazon for the delivery in the Milan area. Furthermore, it boasts high-quality shops with the brand Il Viaggatore Goloso.
Supermarkets of the Unes group chose a different path than the others: no cheaply priced products, no promotional activities. Gasbarrino concluded, "Quality and fair prices must be there on a daily basis. It is a matter of respect".