Starbucks to expand European business

by FoodBusinessNews.net Staff
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AMSTERDAM, THE NETHERLANDS — Starbucks Coffee Co. will increase its operations and expanding partnerships in Europe through the addition of stores in Bulgaria and Portugal next year. The effort is part of the company strategy to develop business clusters in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

Specifically, Starbucks Coffee EMEA recently extended a joint venture with the Marinopoulos Group to open stores in Bulgaria with the first store to open in the city of Sofia in 2008. This five-year partnership now extends to six markets, including Greece, Cyprus, Romania, Switzerland, Austria and Bulgaria. The company also broadened its agreement with Grupo VIPS, a Spanish joint venture partner, to open stores in Portugal, with the first store opening in Lisbon next year. This partnership now includes the three markets of Spain, France and Portugal.

"Extending the reach of our agreements with established business partners gives us the capability to gain leverage," said Cliff Burrows, president of Starbucks Europe, Middle East and Africa. "We look forward to bringing our high quality coffees and the Starbucks Experience to these important emerging consumer markets."

In other international efforts, Starbucks and PepsiCo International announced in September an expansion of the North American Coffee Partnership to include China. The joint venture between the two companies first launched bottled Frappuccino in 1996 and has made numerous ready-to-drink (R.-T.-D.) coffee beverages available to North American consumers. The companies now plan to make this partnership international, and China is the first country to benefit from the expanded relationship. The joint venture now is called the International Coffee Partnership.

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