Epta sponsored the first edition of "Supermarket 2020", the international conference organised by Retail Institute Italy. In the exclusive setting of Milan’s Four Seasons Hotel Retailers, associations and leading figures from the large-scale retail distribution sector met today for a debate on the future function of the "supermarket”.

In an increasingly complex market it has become necessary for Retailers to find the best way to benefit from the new digital equipment which is changing the shopping experience and acquiring an increasingly central role in retail strategies. However, despite having more innovative systems for shopping and communicating with producers and distributors, today consumers appear to be have gone back to rewarding even “traditional” values: guaranteed quality, organic products, locally sourced products, etc. Consumers have also demonstrated that they appreciate social support, like the possibility to interact with staff or enjoy a meal inside a store.

William Pagani, Group Marketing Director for Epta, one of the speakers at the round table stated: “Commercial refrigeration will be asked to play an increasingly important role and offer simple and reliable solutions, that can combine high-performances and maximum energy saving with the promotion of products and innovative visual merchandising, in order to become “the invisible and integrated partner” that can support Retailers in becoming more competitive. A tangible expression of this approach is the new strategy “#EptaExperience is the way” that was presented by Epta at Euroshop 2017, to transform stores from Point of Sale to Point of Experience.” And he continued “Retailers are responding to new trends by focusing on the layout of supermarkets as well as on product assortment. Consumption of food outside the home in Retail stores is growing constantly and, in this regard, the joining of forces between refrigeration and professional catering enables there to be a renewal of the Shop in Shop format, by offering exclusive dine-in areas, and increasingly making retail stores potential meeting points and centres of aggregation for people.” And he concludes: “In a hyper-connected world that is continually evolving, where the shift to the Omnichannel model is becoming more pronounced, it is also important to offer consumers solutions and services that aim to promote the highest level of practicality and convenience in the shopping experience, like our #EPTAbricks, refrigerated lockers from which consumers can collect fresh and frozen products they purchased from a supermarket’s website in a completely flexible manner, in the place and at the time they choose.”