Starbucks expands in Italy despite country’s intense coffee culture
In 2018, Starbucks opened its first store in Italy, a 25,000 square foot roast shop in Milan. Despite being inspired by the culture of Italian coffee shops, the American chain faced resistance in entering the country.
It took Starbucks 47 years to open a store in Italy. Italians take their coffee culture very seriously – it is filled with traditions, customs and rituals. Usually they order an espresso, drink it quickly at the counter, chat with the barista, and leave – unlike Starbucks stores, where customers can sit for a while to work on their laptops.
When Starbucks announced its official plans to open in Milan, some locals did not approve of the opening, and several protesters set fire to a group of palm trees planted by Starbucks in Piazza del Duomo.
“Our intention in this project has always been to show our respect and gratitude to the city of Milan, which has inspired Starbucks so much over the years,” the company said in a statement. in a statement.
To ensure a smooth transition into uncharted territory, the company partnered with an Italian brand manager and other local businesses.
Despite the difficulties, Starbucks has exceeded all expectations in Italy and is even planning to expand.
“I really liked the coffee I had there…it tasted exactly like Italian coffee should be, and I would say it’s good Italian coffee,” said Eva Del Soldato, assistant professor of Italian studies at the University of Pennsylvania.
Watch the video to learn more about how Starbucks is adapting to Italian culture.