Seven years after its debut in the country, American pizza giant has formally closed its stores after it failed to convince locals who preferred homegrown options, according to a report by Milan today.
EPizza SpA, the franchisee of the Dominoes (DMPZF) brand in Italy, filed for bankruptcy in April after it struggled to make enough sales during two years of pandemic restrictions, according to a document filed in a Milan court.
The company ceased operations at all of its Domino’s stores on July 20, according to a report by food service a publication in the Italian food industry.
While some attribute Domino’s failure to its brazen attempt to infiltrate the pizza homeland with American food, ePizza said it went bankrupt due to competition from food delivery apps.
The Milan-based company faced “unprecedented competition” from local restaurants that started using services such as Glovo, Just Eat and Deliveroo during the pandemic, the court said.
Domino’s said in a document attached to the court that ePizza’s problems last year resulted from “significantly increased competition in the food delivery market with both organized chains and ‘mama & pop’ restaurants supplying food for survival. “
It said it had problems too as pandemic restrictions eased and consumers returned to sit-down restaurants.
The Milan court had granted the company a 90-day grace period, during which creditors were not allowed to demand repayment or take away its assets. It expired in early July.
Domino’s had high hopes when it entered the Italian market in 2015, signing a 10-year franchise agreement with ePizza. It was going to be a large-scale pizza delivery service to the country, which was absent at the time, the court said.
In early 2020, ePizza operated 23 stores in Italy and six more through a sub-franchise partner.
Neither Domino’s nor ePizza immediately responded to CNN Business’s request for comment.