World Domino's Pizza to close all of its 29 stores in Italy

tom_mai78101

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Domino’s Pizza Inc.’s footprint in the home of Pizza proved to be short lived with Italians favoring local restaurants over the American version.

The last of Domino’s 29 branches have closed after the company started operations in the country seven years ago. It borrowed heavily for plans to open 880 stores, but faced tough competition from local restaurants expanding delivery services during the pandemic and sought protection from creditors after running out of cash and falling behind on its debt obligations.

The US chain entered Italy in 2015 through a franchising agreement with ePizza SpA and planned to distinguish itself by providing a structured national delivery service along with American-style toppings including pineapple.

Its ambitious expansion ran into trouble as traditional pizza makers scaled up deliveries or signed deals with third-party services such as Deliveroo Plc, Just Eat Takeaway.com NV or Glovo to bring their products to customers’ homes while restrictions prevented dining out.

“We attribute the issue to the significantly increased level of competition in the food delivery market with both organized chains and ‘mom & pop’ restaurants delivering food, to service and restaurants reopening post pandemic and consumers out and about with revenge spending,” ePizza said in a report to investors accompanying its fourth-quarter 2021 results.

 
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