Market exit

Domino's leaves Italy

End for Domino's in Italy
IMAGO / Dean Pictures
End for Domino's in Italy

The last of the 29 Italian Domino's locations has closed. The US pizza chain has around 19,200 locations in 90 markets worldwide. However, the brand failed to win over guests in Italy.

In 2015, Domino's launched in Milan with a big lineup. "Italy can be an important milestone for the recognized global leader in pizza delivery service, as no major U.S. pizza brand has successfully entered this market," Richard Allison, president of Domino's International at the time and now retired, said at the time. "We are going where no major pizza brand has gone before.

According to media reports, it is now clear: The Italians will remain loyal to their local restaurants, and Domino's will leave the market. The plan was to open 880 locations, but the last of the 29 units has now recently closed. The local franchise partner, ePizza, had taken out a very large loan for the expansion, and the competition, especially during the pandemic from domestic restaurants that were also expanding their delivery service and joining forces with third-party providers, had been fierce.

By 2020, Domino's business in Italy was already faltering and operations had been curtailed. The court in Milan had granted the company judicial protection from creditors for 90 days in April, according to media reports, an ePizza filing said.

The measures, which prevented lenders from demanding repayment of debts or seizing the company's assets, expired July 1. According to electronic court records and the Italian Chamber of Commerce, there have been no further updates on the court proceedings. The latest audited annual report said the company had debts of €10.6 million ($10.8 million) at the end of 2020.