Our History

Confidence and customer satisfaction at the center of our programs


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 affiliate companies of Selex and by Selex itself as group of associated businesses 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 the new millennium, the Selex network can boast more than 1,600 sales outlets with a combined retail floorage of nearly one million square metres. Turnover in 1999 reaches 8,100 billion Italian lire (more than €4 billion). During this period, Selex, already a trusted name in the world of distribution, makes great headway towards becoming a recognised brand of guaranteed quality for shoppers. The Group thus lays down the solid foundations on which it will build its reputation as it enters the new millennium.


By 2004, forty years since its foundation, Selex has become Italy’s fifth-largest national distributor with a turnover of 6 billion euros, a market share of 7% and a customer base of 2 million loyal shoppers.
One of its achievements in these years is to strengthen its partnership with European Marketing Distribution (EMD), the leading European retail alliance. 


Selex is the third-largest retail distributor in Italy where, with a market share of 10.5% (Source: IRI, June 2018), it generates a turnover of around 11 billion euros and employs more than 31,000 people. It has issued more than 6 million customer loyalty cards, and the number of its private-label products exceeds 5,500.

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