StartupWhy we are PRO Starbucks in Italy


Besides good Italian coffee, let’s talk about innovation for a second..

For many days now a trend topic on many social networks in particular on Twitter, posts with the hashtag #starbucksItalia has been collecting tons of comments in favor or against the opening of Starbucks in Italy. It has been a year now since the negotiation for the arrival of the Seattle company started, but had been on the mind of Howard Shultz for at least twenty years. There is an open debate between Shultz and Antonio Percassi, ex Cesena and Bergamo’s team Atalanta football player that he now owns along with being a guru of shopping malls, his name is now famous in connection with the commercial expansion of brands like Benetton and Zara, not to mention lingerie stores like VICTORIA’S secret, which joined the Italian market this year in the heart of Milan. Well now it seems that the time has finally come for Starbucks, the leading American coffee franchise that contributed to the world wide fashion of drinking coffee while walking on the streets and while warming hands by holding a hot plastic cup, as seen in London or New York. The challenge now is landing in the Italian market, competing with the good and traditional Italian coffee. Famous all around the world, Italian coffee can’t and mustn’t have any equal, so for many the arrival of the American coffee shop represent a violation, especially for all the real coffee lovers and for bars and restaurants.

Why Starbucks has interest in Italy…

We asked ourselves, why Starbucks is striving so much to enter the Italian market, since everyone is saying that they won’t make a lot of money, at least not as much as it is making in the USA and England? Why is our country so desired by the Seattle giant?

Euromonitor International analysts are certain that behind this attraction there is a promotional marketing strategy. If they can spread the message that even Italians learned to love Starbucks coffee, then it’s done, it will be a warranty and a promotion all over the world.

Surely they thought about this, and they are not expecting an increase on their incomings by coming to Italy, but an increase in their value. Honestly, I think that it’s a fair decision, that it doesn’t deserve an inquisition because of this. It’s logical and in line with the urge to penetrate a difficult market such as the Italian one.

But let’s take a step forward…

When you wander around London or New York it seems natural to be able to taste food from all over the world, try drinks and beverages from all over the world, and be fascinated by the variety of food and drinks. But when you arrive in Italy the rule seems to be: “We are the Belpaese, with the best food in the world so we don’t need anything else”…I ask myself: Is it still possible to think like that? How dreadful can the differentiation and growth of the offer be for our traditional food and drinks?

I think that it’s necessary to start thinking or at least accepting an irrefutable reality, and since we are talking about Milan, we need to consider this as not being a common Italian city, but as the Italian capitol of innovation. I think that the Expo, even if it’s almost over, should have helped us understand this.

Starbucks and tech coffee…

The truth is that the grand opening, planned for 2016 in the center of Milan, has already caused a certain situation, the same that a few days ago hit the Apple crystal cube, because it meant the permanent closure of Cinema Apollo, traditional and historical place for people from Milan.

Well, I want to see more in the choice of opening a Starbucks coffee shop in Milan…

The Italian entrepreneur and the west coast business man are trying to push for another factor to hit the Italian market, the one that highlights hi-tech and the digital offer.

After been living a year in London and having experienced different meeting points, both private and professional such as Caffe Nero, Costa or Strabucks, the first thing that I thought when I came back to Italy was “why can’t that happen here, too?”. Why can’t we entrepreneurs, startuppers, and professionals be able to meet in a less formal way, maybe in a cozy place with free-wifi and a hot beverage. Back to Milan, it was hard for me to find meeting points, where it would have been possible to discuss and confront on themes such as digital, tech and innovation. Truth to be told, Starbucks is focusing a lot on digital innovation thanks to Starbuck digital Network, where they offer contents such as movies, tv series and news, giving a moment of break and entertainment to the youngest or, i.e. the Starbacks app, where they offer fast lunch deliveries.

Not just plain American coffee, frappuccino, caramel mocha, Starbucks is focusing on innovation and rebranding of the “coffee moment”, not just as a break and relaxation, but also a moment of business and discussion.

One of the reasons that pushed us to create Coffee Up as we got back from London was the shared desire to create a network, and push the idea of discussion. We had already found the origin of this need in our country and especially in Milan in the creation of work coffee. We wish that, besides American coffee, Starbucks will be able to promote a new business model in Italy, which will be ruled by the evolution of personal relationships. A place where people can meet the world, a fresh approach to people and ideas, this is what we wish Starbucks can do for our country.

Because of this, we want to publish a post written by Antonio Megalizzi, truthful and shareable and promoted by many on the Web:

“I came across many indiscretions with regards to the arrival in Italy of Starbucks, here’s what follows:

1- no policeman will point a gun to your head forcing you to drink that undrinkable watery American coffee

2- Starbucks won’t force anyone to spend 8 euros for breakfast, and guess what, they will allow anyone to sit down and use free wifi

3- More selfies are made in front of a mirror than with Starbucks’ cups, so will we make mirrors illegal now?

4- I can’t remember such a nationalist crusade against something not Italian during your kebab based dinners

5- no, there won’t be any law to demolish 10 thousands bars because of Starbucks

6- McDonalds doesn’t come from San Felice sul Panaro, Subway doesn’s come from Campobasso and the founder of H&M isn’t from Ragusa

7- Facebook and Twitter are American, and since we are a country of artists, poets and writer, from tomorrow on we’ll be writing our posts on churches, with duck feathers

Oh, I almost forgot: it’s called the free market. It’s that thing regulated by people’s taste. If the idea is so shitty, it won’t last more than a month. If instead it is liked and sells well, it will last longer. A bit like that side of your brain that still believes in cliches”

Antonio Megalizzi

Michela Di Nuzzo

« Se scrivo ciò che sento è perché così facendo abbasso la febbre di sentire». - Fernando Pessoa Giornalista e co-founder, vivo il digital come imprenditrice e appassionata. Percepisco il cambiamento come un'opportunitá mai una minaccia. Occhi spalancati e orecchie aperte, sempre pronta alla condivisione, la chiave di ogni evoluzione.


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