Retail learnings from the COVID-19 outbreak in Italy

This report explores the Italian consumer's response to the COVID-19 outbreak and offers insights for other markets and channels.
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italy shopping mall retail
Ben Antenore

Analyst, Consulting Division

Kelly Petropoulou

Analyst, Consulting Division

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Italy is roughly three weeks further ahead in COVID-19’s progress than the US and UK. What can we learn from their shoppers, their supply chain struggles, and their retailer outreach? Key takeaways include:

  1. Prepare for shopper trips to change. As Italians have shifted from stock-up to meal maintenance, suppliers should expect and prepare for a similar shift as the rest of the world settles into quarantine and restructures their eating habits.
  2. Expect an online boom. Online grocery has grown the most during the initial ecommerce boom in Italy. The challenge for suppliers and retailers will be maintaining inventory levels and ensuring that delivery is sanitary and satisfactory. Even after the COVID-19 emergency ends, many first-time online grocery users will likely continue to order online and rely on various forms of fulfilment.
  3. Align with changing online habits. In the near term, whatever the near term is, what are the likely implications of more shopping moving online or to click and collect? Specifically, think of how case configurations, packaging materials and packaging sizes could change.

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Notes for editors

This report was initially published on Retail IQ on 1 April. Licensed clients can access the presentation here.

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