LIVORNO. Fear, that of being overwhelmed by a “giant” as many define it, summarizing various concepts in one word; resignation, that awareness of being in front of not a first, but an “other” supermarket that is added in a short space, with the feeling of the shop, the retail store of feeling almost “suffocated” among the “big “Of large retailers. But there are also those who send messages of optimism, hope and who imagine an incessant and constructive dialogue in the future of a portion of the redeveloped territory. Who, again, hopes for collaboration with smaller realities and who is studying ad hoc recipes so as not to be caught unprepared.
These are moods, faces and voices from the world of commerce that we have gathered in the areas around the Esselunga in viale Petrarca a few hours after the inauguration that will take place this morning. After the feelings and opinions of the residents, of which we wrote about Tyrrhenian in recent days, now ideas, concerns and ideas come from trade. The neighborhood, retail, under the house: the fruit and vegetable shop, the fishmonger, the butchers and delis, but also bars and pastry shops. How do they imagine the near future from now on? A large collection that is part of the great debate (and in the wait that is now coming to an end) on the arrival of Esselunga in Livorno after months of construction sites to redesign the visual impact of the structure and viability. –
From Ilario fruit and vegetables
“The sense of being overwhelmed, but let’s not give up.” He repeats it Davide Simonetti who for almost 25 years has been running with his wife “Da Ilario”, a fruit, vegetable and food shop on the corner with via Torino, really close to Esselunga. “The business has been here since 1963, we have been here since 1997, during the works and still today they have removed the loading-unloading space that for me is fundamental for the products: I asked the municipal administration to find a solution, but at the moment nothing. Beyond the construction sites, we have a family management: translated, we have to live, surely a new supermarket, then so close, it could give us a good blow, we felt overwhelmed, but we do not give up and we count in the love of the neighborhood that he saw us grow, ”he comments.
Butcher Silvia and Veronica
“We also lacked this, we didn’t really feel the need.” He is the spokesperson for the message that comes from “Silvia e Veronica”, a historic butcher’s shop in Colline Pietro Gumina, for all “Piero” in the area. A handful of years ago he left his daughter Silvia, after 25 years at the helm, part of the business to carry on with the other partner. With her daughter also her husband, Cristiano Pugliese. Pietro, as a historical voice of the local trade, tries to take stock: «And what do you want me to say, we lacked that too, so there weren’t enough supermarkets within a few kilometers. We will see how the situation will evolve. My trust certainly remains in those loyal customers who will certainly continue to come to us ».
«Rebus retail trade». They have taken over the business for a couple of years, Simona Balsano and companion. And, like other colleagues around here, they are concerned. A feeling, however, that is not born today. «No, because by now we are saturated with supermarkets all over the city, here then … The retail trade has now become like a puzzle to be solved: we have two part-time employees, in addition to us. Because if you don’t put yourself on the front line you can’t do it, we can’t do more than that. We are gearing up. How? Direct contact with the customer, as if he were the only one, the search for products, time and passion and choosing things that can hardly be found elsewhere. And now a giant arrives and does it right in the city center, let’s say. We hope to keep going, ”says Simona.
“It is not a novelty that reassures us.” Cut it short Silvana Lombardi on the near future, to the dry question on the reflection of a retail trader “surrounded” by a large distribution map, with a further arrival in the next few hours. «For the first time we will certainly be negatively affected for various reasons. I think it is almost physiological and normal, but we will evaluate in an overall manner later on what will be the contribution of the umpteenth supermarket in Livorno and especially nearby “, he says while there are those who point out, in the meantime, the traffic junction right in front of their activity with the pedestrian crossing almost imperceptible now. “There are many elderly people who pass by here, it could be dangerous.”
Christian pastry shop
Collaboration and optimism. These are the key words, the refrain, that comes and circulates from Christians. A clear appeal that they raise. «Let’s say that the supermarket list is well fed throughout the city; maybe we are out of the retail-inhabitants relationship – he explains Federica Garaffa -. There and then, like all the news, especially the bigger ones like this one, you can be scared. But I want to be optimistic. Mine, however, is an appeal for collaboration. Esselunga is located in the heart of the city, it will not remove people, on the contrary I hope it can bring people from outside the area and from the whole province of Livorno and beyond. I hope for a collaboration with the smaller shops in the interest of all so as not to “crush”, but to enhance what are the peculiarities of all ».
Molo Novo fish shop
The real problem was the pandemic. This is the concept, in a nutshell, that comes from the “Molo Novo”. «We do both wholesale and retail. From a commercial point of view we will see how it will be, as citizens of Livorno we believe, however, that there were certainly other supermarkets. Let’s see how much it will impact now, on the other hand there was also fear for the other supermarkets once they arrived. The news at the beginning scare and will always frighten ”, they explain. In short, we will see the message, with the major question marks coming from the Covid emergency. “Yes, other than supermarkets, what really damaged us was Covid, we can say this clearly”, they assure. –
Vegetable garden on the table
“I don’t even notice it anymore now.” A mix between resignation and a good dose of realism, what transpires from the words of Veronica Brioschi while he is at work in his Colline fruit and vegetables. “Retail stores have already lost a lot in recent years, we must accept what comes, I do not see other possible solutions,” he points out. Solutions at the center of various meetings between traders in recent months made of comparisons, ideas, concerns about the future arrival of Esselunga in the city fabric. «Yes, we tried to discuss it within the BCC, of course, but that’s the way it is. It will open, we just have to wait and see how it will be. We go ahead ».
There are those who have been in the area for years and years and now, with the arrival of Esselunga ready for the inauguration, they rewind the tape starting from the former Fiat dealership, from that large building from the 1960s. “We came here immediately after the former Fiat dealership. I know, the news can be scary as it often happens, but I am happy both as the owner of the business and as a citizen. The supermarket has given work, on a visual level and not only has redeveloped the surrounding environment and it is no small feat. The viability? I don’t think there will be major problems, there will be 960 parking spaces available, ”he says Lucio Zappia. “It will bring – he notes – even further work and movement in the area and it is good news”.
Manipura gold and silver
He has been working here for ten years, but he has always lived there along Via di Salviano. For this reason, the vice president of the Colline natural shopping center (which brings together over 70 businesses), Rossella Cancelli, summarizes the moods that emerge from the numerous meetings that, in recent years, have marked the countdown towards opening. «The equilibrium in and of the commercial fabric of the Colline territory had already been broken, then we come from a complicated period, there is no need to explain it. At the beginning I think we will suffer, there will be fewer people for everyone, even indirectly, also because we are facing a colossus. But I hope and believe that with the passage of time the comings and goings will increase in order to be able to resume a good number of people ».
Damè coffee shop
These are the first days of activity, but satisfaction is in the air. That of a 25 year old, Nicola Falleni, which for its Caffetteria Damè, freshly inaugurated in via Torino, right next to one side of the structure, sees in Esselunga a giant, but “good”. Translated: a “goodness” made up of various opportunities ranging from the increase of people around his restaurant, ready to stop for a coffee or other between one shopping and another, up to the overall redevelopment of the entire area. «I can only be happy, he has brought people from the construction site and will bring many others. In addition to having redeveloped the entire area, let’s not underestimate it. So I hope that after the first impulse in the months of work, a nice coming and going that will do everyone good will stabilize ».
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