La Rinascente
La Rinascente is a Thai
Central Group
The Central Group of Companies is a family-owned conglomerate holding company in Thailand that is involved in retailing, real estate, hotels and restaurants...

 owned Italian retailer operating upscale department stores in the area of clothing, household and beauty products, founded in Milan
Milan is the second-largest city in Italy and the capital city of the region of Lombardy and of the province of Milan. The city proper has a population of about 1.3 million, while its urban area, roughly coinciding with its administrative province and the bordering Province of Monza and Brianza ,...

 in 1865 by Luigi and Ferdinando Bocconi.

On May 27, 2011 Central Retail
Central Group
The Central Group of Companies is a family-owned conglomerate holding company in Thailand that is involved in retailing, real estate, hotels and restaurants...

 bought a 100% stake of the 150-year-old store firm for 260 million euros. "Our ultimate goal is to take it global and to be recognised all across Asia, be it in Thailand
Thailand , officially the Kingdom of Thailand , formerly known as Siam , is a country located at the centre of the Indochina peninsula and Southeast Asia. It is bordered to the north by Burma and Laos, to the east by Laos and Cambodia, to the south by the Gulf of Thailand and Malaysia, and to the...

, China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

, Japa
Japa is a spiritual discipline involving the meditative repetition of a mantra or name of a divine power. The mantra or name may be spoken softly, enough for the practitioner to hear it, or it may be spoken purely within the recitor's mind...

n or Hong Kong
Hong Kong
Hong Kong is one of two Special Administrative Regions of the People's Republic of China , the other being Macau. A city-state situated on China's south coast and enclosed by the Pearl River Delta and South China Sea, it is renowned for its expansive skyline and deep natural harbour...

," Chief Executive Officer Tos Chirathivat told reporters. Central Retail also planned new Rinascente stores in Italy and expected the takeover to break even within eight years.

La Rinascente was the first department store to open in Rome in 1887.
Currently La Rinascente owns a chain of 12 department stores located in Italian major cities (2 in Milan, 2 in Rome and one each in Turin
Turin is a city and major business and cultural centre in northern Italy, capital of the Piedmont region, located mainly on the left bank of the Po River and surrounded by the Alpine arch. The population of the city proper is 909,193 while the population of the urban area is estimated by Eurostat...

, Genoa
Genoa |Ligurian]] Zena ; Latin and, archaically, English Genua) is a city and an important seaport in northern Italy, the capital of the Province of Genoa and of the region of Liguria....

, Florence
Florence is the capital city of the Italian region of Tuscany and of the province of Florence. It is the most populous city in Tuscany, with approximately 370,000 inhabitants, expanding to over 1.5 million in the metropolitan area....

, Palermo
Palermo is a city in Southern Italy, the capital of both the autonomous region of Sicily and the Province of Palermo. The city is noted for its history, culture, architecture and gastronomy, playing an important role throughout much of its existence; it is over 2,700 years old...

, Catania
Catania is an Italian city on the east coast of Sicily facing the Ionian Sea, between Messina and Syracuse. It is the capital of the homonymous province, and with 298,957 inhabitants it is the second-largest city in Sicily and the tenth in Italy.Catania is known to have a seismic history and...

, Cagliari
Cagliari is the capital of the island of Sardinia, a region of Italy. Cagliari's Sardinian name Casteddu literally means castle. It has about 156,000 inhabitants, or about 480,000 including the outlying townships : Elmas, Assemini, Capoterra, Selargius, Sestu, Monserrato, Quartucciu, Quartu...

, Padova, Monza
Monza is a city and comune on the river Lambro, a tributary of the Po, in the Lombardy region of Italy some 15 km north-northeast of Milan. It is the capital of the Province of Monza and Brianza. It is best known for its Grand Prix motor racing circuit, the Autodromo Nazionale Monza.On June...

) and two subsidiaries branded Jam (specializing in clothing for young people) in Milan, within the branch of Piazza Duomo, and in Rome at the Rome branch Colonna.
The flagship concept store is La Rinascente Milano Piazza Duomo, in Milan.


The Bocconi brothers opened a first clothing shop named Aux Villes d'Italie in Via Santa Radegonda (next to Piazza del Duomo, Milan
Piazza del Duomo, Milan
Piazza del Duomo is the main piazza of Milan, Italy. It is named after, and dominated by, the Milan Cathedral . The piazza marks the center of the city, both in a geographic sense and because of its importance from an artistic, cultural, and social point of view...

) in 1877, inspired by Le bon marché - probably the first modern clothing store - which had been successful in Paris for some decades already. The business grew very quickly and within few years they opened stores in several more Italian cities. People were attracted by the then-new concept of exposing the clothes in plain sight and allowing customers to walk around the shop and "watch and desire". The Bocconi brothers, however, failed to support this advantage with a targeted commercial strategy, so the success was relatively short-lived. The onset of World War I worsened the decline and by 1917 the chain of stores was about to go out of business.

Instead the Bocconi brothers sold to entrepreneur Senatore Borletti, who went looking for ideas to relaunch the business. He hired decadent poet Gabriele d'Annunzio
Gabriele D'Annunzio
Gabriele D'Annunzio or d'Annunzio was an Italian poet, journalist, novelist, and dramatist...

, arguably the most influential figure in the Italian culture at the time, to suggest a new public image for the store. The poet suggested La Rinascente (i.e. "she who is born again") as the new name, to symbolize the rebirth of the store but also, and more significantly, the rebirth of Italy at the end of a war which was causing widespread poverty.
On Christmas night, 1918 - the first Christmas in peacetime - a short circuit
Short circuit
A short circuit in an electrical circuit that allows a current to travel along an unintended path, often where essentially no electrical impedance is encountered....

caused the renovated main store in Piazza del Duomo to burn to the ground. When it opened again after being rebuilt, the name had a new meaning besides the original: that of a place which had been literally "born again" from its ashes.

The Borletti family kept ownership of the chain until the late Sixties. The stores have since kept the name suggested by d'Annunzio and are still very popular today among Italian citizens and tourists.
The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.