(Editor’s note: Dispatches covers retail and restaurants such as Eataly because our highly skilled internationals are high earners, and we know from our analytics they love to shop and enjoy better restaurants.)
We first experienced Eataly in Chicago way back in 2014 and we were mightily impressed. Eataly was like nothing we’d ever seen – a huge, multilevel facility with 63,000 square feet (an acre and a half) of multiple Italian restaurants, expensive kitchen supplies and an Italian food market featuring fresh foods, coffees, pastas and wines.
It was, to coin a phrase, a food arena.
Even though it was in downtown Chicago, Eataly had an authentic Italian vibe. That’s because Eataly – based in Alba, south of Turin – is an Italian company and a hugely successful one, with more than 45 locations, including stores in nearly every major city from Tokyo to Istanbul.
Now, the 20-year-old company is on the verge of a global expansion after a 200 million euro deal with London-based private equity firm Investindustrial, and a new agreement with London-based real estate developer McArthurGlen.
As of September, Investindustrial now owns the majority stake in Eataly, with plans to add both flagship stores like Chicago as well as smaller stores in major cities across the world, according to Financial Times.
That expansion includes markets where McArthurGlen has fashion outlet centers. Eataly and McArthurGlen signed a deal earlier this year, with the first store scheduled to open next summer at Serravalle Designer Outlet north of Genoa, according to a media release. Unfortunately, the release doesn’t have many details as to whether the outlet stores will follow the Chicago model of hugeness or be one of the smaller stores.
McArthurGlen has 25 outlets worldwide, but it’s not clear which of those will get Eataly locations.
There are also Eatalys planned for Brussels and Paris. The Brussels project in particular aligns with the original concept we saw in Chicago, with a 35,000-square-foot store as part of a retail/residential project in a renovated department store. But it’s going to be awhile … the Eataly is projected to open in 2025, and it’s been rumored since 2018. You can see details here.
In Europe, Eataly locations include:
• a London flagship store
• a Rome flagship store
• an additional 11 stores in Italy, including in Milan, Turin, Genoa, Verona and Florence
• a new flagship store in Stockholm
We’ll have updates as the deals with Investindustrial and McArthurGlen play out.
See more about McArthurGlen in Dispatches’ archives here.
Co-CEO of Dispatches Europe. A former military reporter, I'm a serial expat who has lived in France, Turkey, Germany and the Netherlands.