There are many reasons why Milan is sought-after by so many brands. For years it has not only been a modern business hub, but also a popular tourist and shopping destination. In 2015, Milan surpassed Rome, Venice, and Florence as the most-visited city in Italy. In addition, it is the only Italian town that is listed in the top 20 destination cities worldwide according to the Mastercard Global Destination Cities Index 2018.
As a result, Milan is an increasingly attractive location for global brands to establish new flagship stores or test new store concepts. Here are a few examples.
—Apple opened a store designed by the famous architect Norman Foster that is second only to San Francisco's main store in floor area (3,500 square-meters). The store hosts events year-round through its Today at Apple program. Its mission is to inspire young creatives in Milan. It's a place to meet, learn, share ideas and discover what Milan might create in the future.
—Starbucks opened its Reserve Roastery, in September, which the company describes as the most beautiful Starbucks in the world (2,300 square-meters). The store acknowledges the fact that Howard Schultz was inspired to create Starbucks after a visit to Milan. (A quote on the wall reads: Dedicated to Milan, the town that inspired our dreams, every coffee we served brought us here.)
—NBA is opening its first European flagship store close to the Cathedral, which will be its third flagship store and similar in the concept to its store in New York City. The store will offer official uniforms, sneakers, collectibles, and exclusive NBA products.