As far as discount shopping in our part of the world is concerned Penny Market is, clearly, not the only haven for cheaper-priced food of acceptable quality. Yesterday, for example, I shopped at another discount, DICO. This store, coming from Bagni di Lucca, is situated on a side road on the right at Pian di Coreglia. It’s easy to miss: watch out for the signs indicating the Coco Bongo Double night-club, disco & general picking-up point, and that is where you turn off.
Dico prides itself on being a “Discount Italiano”. So if you are not particularly keen on contributing to the German economy by shopping at Penny Market, or even Lidl, Dico is the place for you…
Dico started up in 1994 with the merger of various cooperative stores in northern Italy. “Dico” is, in fact, short for “Discount Coop”. With further mergers in 1999, including Topdì, Conad’s own discount store chain, Dico became one of Italy’s most important national discount chains. In 2005 Dico purchased further stores in the Veneto region and eventually came to have branches in most parts of Italy (except Basilicata, Calabria and Sicily).
In 2010 it started its own e-commerce online store at http://www.dico.it/
Dico has a sales network of 374 stores, of which 249 are directly operated and 125 are franchised. The store at Coreglia is, I understand, a franchised one. Although it is based on the cooperative system I have yet to find a particular loyalty discount card associated with it as with standard coop stores.
In addition to food, Dico stores also have a range of non- food products: electronics, small appliances, accessories for the home and DIY, clothing, leisure items and much more. Since these items change from week to week it’s worth coming quite often to look. Among these non-food items I’ve found an excellent Italian dictionary, a portable M3/radio/CD/cassette player and a drying rack, all in the past year..
If you are a cat servant and your cat is getting fed up with the food you buy for it then get it to try the selection at Dico:
I’ve been shopping at Dico for some years now and it has come a long way in choice and décor. From an originally somewhat sleazy interior (the exterior remains a bit like that, reminding me of a disused fireworks factory) its latest refit presents a very acceptable appearance.
There is a dedicated meat and delicatessen counter. The wine selection is good and I found the best medium-priced Chianti here, together with those doyens of Italian wines, Brunello di Montalcino and Vin Nobile di Montepulciano, all at great prices.
There is also that row dedicated to household items including clothes, book, kitchen hardware and those very useful Italian dictionaries.
There should be no problem with parking here and if you go around lunch time you’ve got the whole place to yourself (as is quite usual with many Italian supermarkets).
Opening times are:
Mon-Fri: 8:30 am-1:00 pm and 3:30 pm-7:30 pm
Sats 8.30 am – 7.30 pm
You can check out Dico’s current special offers at http://www.dico.it/offerte-volantino.cfm
For me, in at least one very special respect, Dico takes the