why the big US chains are leaving Italy- Corriere.it

The last ones, in chronological order, were the casualwear brands Gap and Domino’s Pizza. But the list of US brands that, after bombastic announcements and substantial investments have closed the stores in Italy for a long time. And it includes, among others, the Tory Burch label, the Banana Republic fashion brand, which belongs to the same group as Gap, and the Haagen Dasz ice cream brand.

The difficulties of fashion brands

Where does this debacle come from? Why are American brands unable to establish themselves in the Italian market? It must be said that the difficulties are more marked in the fashion sector. The obvious motivation: it is a very competitive sector, in which the offer is extremely vast. Furthermore, the Italian players – from big names to small realities – are an important reference both in terms of style and in terms of production quality. The situation is different for sportwear and streetwear. Here US brands boast a competence – and in a sense a birthright – recognized by consumers. This is why names like Nike or Supreme have not suffered a crisis and, on the contrary, have recently opened new stores in our country.

Food: whoever is not glocal, does not work

In the food sector, it was mainly the brands that suffered from a standardized offer, without adapting it to the tastes of our local customers. Who, on the other hand, has known how to decline the menu in a local key, enriching it with proposals and ingredients typical of the Italian gastronomic culture, has been awarded. An emblematic example represented from McDonald’s, which has introduced local raw materials into its recipes (from pecorino romano dop to parmigiano reggiano) and has included, in the menu, dishes designed for the Italian consumer (such as salads). In short, the glocal approach wins, which combines the global dimension and local specificities.

Domino’s and the Covid effect

In the case of Domino’s, the situation was aggravated by Covid. The restrictive measures introduced in the spring of 2020 have, that isresulting in an increase in the delivery offer, which was previously a hallmark of the American insignia. Domino’s yes, thus, found to compete on the one hand with delivery apps (Glovo, Just Eat, Deliveroo etc) and on the other hand con the individual pizzerias which, in the face of the increase in demand, in many cases they have organized their own delivery system. A competition that has accelerated the crisis already underway and contributed to determining the withdrawal from Italy.

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