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BOTTEGANDO ...GO FOR 13 IN VENICE!


23.03.2009

The economic crisis, which has being having repercussions on worldwide markets over the past few months, has been turned into an opportunity by 22 “bottegai” [storekeepers], who asked themselves what the best way possible would be to confront this crisis. The objective is to “transform” these difficult times into something positive.



Economists say that a slowdown in demand is the time to go on the “offensive”, to avoid the risk of becoming bogged down. The exception again confirms the rule in this instance. “Bottegando” emerged from the top-hat of ideas, representing a proposal that not only encapsulates a shopping message for families, but is also a reading or innovative interpretation of the historical centre of Venice. The unique and fragile urban layout of Venice, and especially its spatial and architectural constraints, do not allow large shopping centres to be built as has happened in other municipalities on the mainland. “Limited, disorganised, uncompetitive pricing”: these are some of the complaints highlighted by those who shop around Venice on a daily basis, and are then exposed to the endless adverts, which also include free bus transfers there and back from Piazzale Roma. A very attractive incentive. Having recognised this situation, and in an attempt to find an effective “instrument” that could respond to these people, we asked ourselves: “Why can’t we do something new for the city?” So that Venice, one of the most unique cities in the world, would have the “most unique shopping centre in the world”! The large aisles of the hypermarket become the narrow Venetian streets, and instead of walking through long anonymous passageways to go from one “shelf” to another, one would walk through the city to reach the various shops that form part of this initiative. These 22 “bottegai” (we have used this word because we believe that it emphasises the value of human contact in relationships and quality of service, which are unfortunately becoming quite rare today) have decided to work together to create a network, under the banner “BOTTEGANDO”; this creates a starting point, and recognises the fact that “only in optimising resources and coming together can we overcome the challenge posed by the competition”. For the client, there will be the assurance of quality of service, and the opportunity to move around safely and easily, without having to travel beyond their familiar surroundings, all within the context of competitive pricing. In summary, the undertaking will combine the energies of all involved, to strengthen communication, optimise any initiatives, making the big shopping offer and the everyday service to the city increasingly visible. The response of storekeepers has been immediate and positive: the opportunity to offer better services to Venetians was the motivation that made them commit without reservation to this type of initiative. The intention is to re-establish and re-launch the client-seller relationship, by emphasising the professionalism of the one so as to give concrete answers to the demands of the buyer. Human interaction is a central theme, often abandoned by the larger shopping chains in favour of a do-it-yourself “non relationship”, which usually increases problems instead of reducing them, due to a lack of competent people to interact with. “Bottegando” is a project which intends facilitating and rewarding Venetians, without penalising tourists and commuters, who come to visit or work in the city. Given that this is an open project, it is hoped that as it evolves, more stores will join, so as to provide a more extensive offer that will “infect” the city as widely as possible. In fact, anyone who shares in the spirit of this initiative and undertakes to guarantee quality of service and the discounts agreed upon will be welcome to join. But “Bottegando” is also a project aimed at those living on the mainland, so that besides the cultural highlights that the waterways have to offer, they will also find price advantages in their purchases, disproving the theory that Venice is expensive! The proposal launched today, is always open and accommodating to any ideas that could consolidate and strengthen this initiative, because it is hoped that “Bottegando” will become an important and real point of reference for the families in our city. We would love to see the enthusiasm shown by the 22 business people in getting this started, catch on throughout Venice!




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