Our History

We have been growing alongside our customers for 59 years


A group of Italian food wholesalers bands together to form a voluntary association known as A&O. Within the space of a few years, the members have developed into logistically organized distribution centres. The voluntary association becomes a consortium called Consorzio A&O Italiano.


The Consortium forms Selex Gruppo Commerciale, a supermarket distribution and retailing group that encourages other businesses to join as members and starts expanding its interests across the entire country. The enlargement of the consortium, a major new milestone, enables its members to intensify their mutual cooperation and pool their expertise. It also enhances the importance of the Head Office, which can now increasingly focus its energies on marketing and services. These years see the launch of nationwide promotional and advertising campaigns that increase the recognition of our brands and deepen our cooperation with producers.


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 prepackaged goods. By opting to distribute through various different types of retail outlet, Selex strengthens its position as a multichannel group. To coincide with the twentieth anniversary of its foundation, Selex opens a new headquarters in Trezzano Sul Naviglio, near Milan.
Meanwhile, the consortium members open the first supermarkets in 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 birth of a new generation of supermarkets for the Group, the “Super A&O” chain. The enhanced layout, improved level of service and judicious positioning of the modern supermarkets brings a breath of fresh air to the retailing world that is much appreciated by our customers.
The outlets now set about reconfiguring their internal layout with the inclusion of staff-assisted food services, cold-cut and deli counters, and in-store greengrocer, butcher and baker sections, placing ever more emphasis on freshness and quality.


In the early nineties, the extent of the progress made by the Partner Companies of Selex and by the Selex Group itself becomes more evident. 
During this decade, the Group gives proof of its full potential by expanding and developing its portfolio of hypermarkets, superstores and shopping centres.
On the cusp of 2000, the Selex network now boasts more than 1,600 retail outlets with a combined floorage of nearly one million square metres. Turnover in 1999 reaches 8,100 billion Italian lire (more than 4 billion euros).
Selex makes huge strides in these years towards becoming a recognized own-label brand of guaranteed quality. The Group thus lays down the solid foundations on which it will build its strength as it enters the new millennium.


Years of growth and landmark achievements In 2004, 40 years after its birth, Selex is the fifth-largest national distributor, with a turnover of €6 billion and a market share of 7%, and can count on two million loyal customers.


In January 2021, five companies belonging to the SUN-Supermercati Uniti Nazionali Group (Alfi, Cadoro, Ce.Di. Gros, Italbrix and Gabrielli) and CDS-Centro Distribuzione Supermercati joined the Selex Group, which thus became Italy’s second largest supermarket and retail distributor, with a market share of 14.7%. At the time of writing, the Group has issued in excess of 8 million supermarket loyalty cards and is retailing around 7,700 private-label products.

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