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Domino’s exit from Italy, the birthplace of pizza

The business joined the Italian market in 2015, but the rise of home delivery food during the pandemic and the demand for more artisanal pies appear to have killed it.

After seven years of operating, the final one of Domino’s 29 locations has shut its doors. It borrowed a lot of money with the intention of opening 880 locations, but when nearby eateries began to offer delivery services during the pandemic, it faced fierce competition and turned to creditors for help after running out of money and skipping payments.

Through a franchise agreement with ePizza SpA, the US chain entered Italy in 2015. It intended to set itself apart by offering a structured national delivery service along with American-style toppings like pineapple.

In order to transport their products to clients’ homes while limitations prevented dining out, conventional pizza makers increased delivery or made agreements with third-party services like Deliveroo Plc, Just Eat Takeaway.com NV, or Glovo, which complicated its ambitious expansion.

According to a report to investors that accompanied ePizza’s fourth-quarter 2021 financial results, “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.”

However, some of the chain’s customers were taken aback by the closures and turned to its Italian social media platforms to inquire as to why their calls and orders weren’t being processed or why their local store had closed.

It came after a Milan court in April gave the business court protection against creditors for 90 days, according to a filing with ePizza. The restrictions, which barred creditors from requesting repayment of debt or taking firm assets, ended on July 1. According to tribunal e-filings or the Italian Chamber of Commerce, there haven’t been any new developments on the court procedure.

A recent audited annual report indicated that the company had 10.6 million euros ($10.8 million) of debt at the end of 2020.

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