The ambitious French fresh produce formula Grand Frais is set to open a first store in Italy, hoping to mimic its local success abroad. It will be its second foreign excursion, after opening a single store in Belgium.
The Grand Frais formula has been around since 1992 and has become very popular in France, ranking fourth after Amazon, Picard and Yves Rocher. Currently, it has more than 170 stores, with five separate specialties (fruit and vegetables; herbs and spices; cheese; meat; fish) and a real focus on price, quality, local manufacturers and experience.
The brand has one store abroad, right across from the French border, in Belgium, which may just very well have been a pilot for possible expansion abroad. Now, the chain will venture into Italy, near Turin. Other retailers have already expressed concern. Italian retailer Conad’s CEO, Francesco Pugliese, said other retailers “will die” if they do not act on the news of the fruit and vegetable store chain’s arrival.