The network of retail stores with ‘La Formaggeria Gran Moravia’ brand of Brazzale Group is consolidating its presence. For the type of its distribution, it is the only Italian chain operating outside the national territory: it currently has 20 points of sale, over 150 employees, and 80% of the products sold are imported from Italy. The reference market is the Czech Republic. Here the shops with a surface area between 60 and 200 square metres, located in urban centres and shopping centres, reach peaks of 1,600 customers a day for each single shop: they are all based on the formula with served counter, which is considered as the main competitive lever in order to deal with eCommerce in the domain of food.
At the conference on shopping and eCommerce, moderated by Cristina Lazzati, director of Gdoweek, Roberto Brazzale, President of the Group, explained: ‘It is clear that nothing will ever be the same as it was before. However, while the on-line revolution is expanding, it is interesting how the traditional 'bourgeois' model of served grocery store is living unexpected successes and a sort of revenge. Precisely our experience in stores in the Czech Republic teaches us this’.
Brazzale Company is in itself a reference case for the Italian-made food industry, which has led it to bring to market the entire product line linked to ‘Gran Moravia’ brand in a competitive manner. Roberto Brazzale explained: ‘With these shops we wanted to revive the service at the counter in the Czech Republic, through the proposal of the Italian tradition of food for everyday use, according to the principle that every purchase must be a party for everyone. The Czech people are cultured, attentive, and curious: they are the ideal customers. Our Czech salespeople are formidable and they love Italian food culture even more than we do, so they can pass on their passion and knowledge’.
In the points of sale there is the whole range of ‘Freschi dal nostro caseificio (Fresh products from our dairy farm)’ dairy products, offered inside a refrigerator designed in detail to offer the ultimate experience of sensory pleasure. It is a family of very fresh products of their own production, such as ricotta, small mozzarella, giuncata, butter, milk, yogurt, flavoured whey. ‘The creation of an ad hoc craft dairy inside our plant at Litovel allows us to have our own production in the domain of very fresh products, choosing among many specialities of both Italian and Czech traditional craftsmanship’. Top sales references are Gran Moravia cheese and fresh butter, both cut directly in the store. To complete the offer, there is the whole range of cheeses of Italian production, but also charcuterie products, sliced and packaged on the spot, as well as a very wide choice of ingredients typical of Italian cuisine, both sweet and savoury ones, selected to ensure quality and price. This demonstrates that nothing is better than a specific retail platform to promote sales of Made in Italy products abroad.
In all the sales points of the chain it is possible to find books that tell about Italian territory and its gastronomic specialities, suggesting recipes accessible to anyone. Out of the total of sold products, those imported from Italy involve around 70 suppliers for 500 references. ‘Prices must be as affordable as possible and even small-cut formats should be proposed, to meet the needs of customers with lower spending power. The per capita purchasing power in the Czech Republic is growing strongly and is set to exceed the average Italian one. But we are happy to serve customers of every social category, even young students and retired people, in our stores. A direct contact without intermediaries between dairy and store allows us to strongly contain the costs and the special Italian purchasing department is able to select the best suppliers at the most favourable conditions’.
Suppliers of Italy
In addition to well-known names (Rigoni, Vicenzi, Petti), the purchasing office in Italy is constantly looking for new Companies, even small ones, with brands that are not known abroad. The goal is to enhance the recipes by giving business opportunities to Companies that are not able to approach foreign markets. The Group aims at marketing the various Italian products with manufacturer's brand, to further strengthen the value of the brand itself, but also its recognisability, if customers go to Italy for leisure or educational trips.