HAVANA, March 14th The Italian company Italsav announced the upcoming opening of a mixed-management shopping center in Havana, according to the ANSA news agency.“By September we will open the first Cuban shopping center that has mixed management, in Havana, with the sale and staff always in the Cuban state but the direction and choice of the products to us,” said Berto Savina, the owner of Italsav, quoted by ANSA agency.
The initiative has the collaboration of businessman Mauro Fusano, owner of the Maury’s group, one of the most important large-scale specialized retailers in Italy, the news agency notes.
This information, however, has not been confirmed by the island authorities. Nor does the report specify which Cuban entity will share the management of the shopping center with the Italian company.
According to ANSA, “Italsav has been transporting basic necessities and materials to Havana for more than thirty years, and during the pandemic it also donated safety devices and syringes to the Cuban State, to help the country during the vaccination campaign against COVID.”
The report recalls that Savina’s collaboration with the island began when he opened “several TODOX stores, where everything inside was only one dollar.”
Cuba then granted it a commercial license that gave “the Marsican company the possibility of increasing its turnover, until today it becomes the first importer of cleaning products for Cuba with more than 160 points of sale.”
These points are divided between detergent, souvenir and clothing stores with an average shipment of between 70 and 80 containers per month, with a total turnover of 150 million euros in ten years.
Over the years, Italsav has also made various donations to Cuba. One of them is “the largest children’s playground in South America dedicated to dinosaurs, with a 1:1 scale reproduction where the animals reach up to 15 m in height, for a total area of 500 square meters,” says ANSA.
Cuba allows foreign investment in wholesale and retail trade
Last year the Cuban government announced that it would allow foreign investment in wholesale trade, and also in retail through joint ventures. This decision is part of a package of measures aimed at revitalizing the battered Cuban economy, currently affected by a severe crisis.
At the beginning of December, the Cuban Pan-American Stores chain denied a news item circulating on social networks, according to which international corporations such as El Corte Inglés, Walmart, Carrefour, Ikea and Galerías Lafayette would open their first stores in Havana.
A few days later, the approval of the mixed company Gran Ferretero S.A. was reported, the first with foreign capital since the modification of the foreign investment policy in that sector.
Said company “has the purpose of conceiving a large hardware store to sell a wide variety of items, including construction materials” and was to begin operations in the first quarter of 2023, according to the official newspaper Granma, although so far it has not been announced. has confirmed its opening.