Milan, 13 June 1959
© 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.