1964. A group of Italian food wholesalers band together to form a voluntary association known as A&O. Within the space of a few years, the associates develop into logistically organized distribution centres. The voluntary association becomes a consortium called Consorzio A&O Italiano.
1979. The consortium forms Selex Gruppo Commerciale, a retailing group that encourages other businesses to join as members and thus begins to expand its interests across the entire country. The enlargement of the consortium, a major new milestone, enabled its members to intensify their mutual cooperation and pool their expertise. It also enhanced the importance of the Head Office, which focused its energies increasingly on marketing and services.
These years saw the launch of nationwide promotional and advertising campaigns that increased the recognition of our brands and amplified the extent of our cooperation with producers.
1984. By now twenty years have passed since the founding of A&O, and the Italian marketing distribution sector has made great strides forward by constantly revitalizing its services and building on its success as an independent supplier of pre-packaged goods.
Selex strengthens its strategic position as an open and multichannel distributor. To coincide with the twentieth anniversary of its foundation, it opens a new headquarters in Trezzano Sul Naviglio, near Milan.
Meanwhile, the consortium members set up the Famila chain, an innovative retailing format that, by bringing both groceries and non-food products under the one roof, launches the group into the super-/hypermarket sector.
The nineteen-eighties also see the debut of Super A&O, which ushered in the next generation of the group’s supermarkets. The enhanced layout, improved level of service and judicious positioning of the modern supermarkets brought a breath of fresh air to the retailing world that was much appreciated by our customers.
The outlets now set about reconfiguring their internal layout with revamped fresh produce displays, deli counters, new-look fruit and vegetable sections and the addition of in-store butchers and bakers, and placed ever more emphasis on all-round quality.
The Nineties. In the early nineties, the extent of the progress made by the Selex companies and by Selex itself as a group of associated businesses becomes more evident. During the decade, the Group gave proof of its full potential as it expanded and developed its portfolio of hypermarkets, superstores and shopping centres.
On the cusp of the new millennium, the Selex network consisted of more than 1,600 outlets, a combined total retail floor space of nearly one million square metres. The turnover in 1999 was 8,100 billion Italian lire (more than €4 billion).
In this period, Selex, already a trusted name in the world of distribution, made great headway towards becoming a recognized brand of guaranteed quality for shoppers. The Group had laid down solid foundations on which to build its reputation as it entered the new millennium.
2000s. Years of growth and landmark achievements.
By 2004, forty years since its foundation, Selex had become Italy’s fifth-largest national distributor with a turnover of €6 billion, a market share of 7%, and a customer base of 2 million loyal shoppers.
Another goal that it achieved in these years was to strengthen its partnership with European Marketing Distribution (EMD), the leading European retail alliance.
Today. Selex is the third-largest distributor in Italy, commands a market share of 11.7% (Source: IRI), and generates a turnover of €10 billion.
It has issued more than 6 million customer loyalty cards, and the number of its branded products exceeds 5,000.