Public days: 5 - 7 November 2021

Customers inside a supermarket

Milan, 13 June 1959
digitized negative
© Archivio Publifoto Intesa Sanpaolo

Until the 1950s Italians relied substantially on self-production or neighbourhood trade. Now large retail outlets were opening in Italy, known as “American-style supermarkets”. In 1959 there were 27 in Italy, while France already had 466, Germany 674, and England 2812. The openings of these revolutionary retail spaces were true events: customers and curiosity seekers came in droves from dozens of miles away to discover the new “sacred sites” that were to forever alter the habits of consumption of a society and an era.

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