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Starbucks Invasion

Starbucks announced last month the opening of 200-300 stores in Italy. The announcement came from
former footballer Antonio Percassi, who is now working with Starbucks bosses to bring the brand to Italy. The first stores will be opened in Milan and Rome, though the opening date of the Italian flagship store has been pushed back, as it was scheduled to launch in Milan this year.
Percassi, who is now 64 and was a professional soccer player for Atalanta in the 70’s, said the country’s first Starbucks should come after June in the summer of
2018 and that, should “the market respond well,” hundreds of stores will open in Italy.
However, when rumors of Starbucks opening in Italy spread two years ago, local coffee experts and cafe- owners opposed the prospect.
The locals’ opposition to a multinational company, which they perceive as a potential enemy to their food culture, may be stronger than expected for Starbucks. This was demonstrated last month of three of the palms planted in Milan’s Piazza Duomo caught fire, a consequence of a contract won by the multinational to restyle the green
spaces surrounding the square’s equestrian monument to the first king of Italy, Victor Emmanuel II. The palm trees set off an outcry from the city government’s centre- right factions, but Mayor Giuseppe Sala declined to offer a judgement. “Let’s see when the work is done,” Sala said, adding that there is a historic precedent for the palm trees going back to the 1800s and as such the city’s superintendency approved the plan, which also includes banana plants. After Sala’s remark, the fire came.
Yet, American coffee seems ready to be served.


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