Starbucks cafe will license its operations in France, the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxemburg to Mexico-based restaurant operator Alsea.
Under the proposals, Alsea will have the rights to operate and develop Starbucks stores in these markets. At the same time, Starbucks will introduce a new support structure in its regional headquarters in London to better serve an increasingly licensed strategy.
The longstanding strategic partnership between Starbucks and Alsea began in 2002, when together they opened Mexico City’s first Starbucks store. Today, Alsea operates more than 900 Starbucks stores in Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Uruguay, employing more than 11,500 people across the five markets.
At the close of this transaction, Alsea will expand its relationship with Starbucks outside of Latin America to Europe and will partner with Starbucks in nine markets globally.
John Culver, group president of Starbucks international, channel development and global coffee and tea, said: “We’re very pleased to build on our 16-year history with Alsea, a long-term strategic partner to Starbucks, with the intention to license our business operations in France, the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxemburg.
“These strategic moves would enable us to further accelerate growth across these markets as we position Starbucks for long-term success moving forward.”
Alsea managing director Renzo Casillo said: “Through the years, we have learned how to successfully bring the Starbucks experience to diverse consumers in several countries; we have a deep understanding of the company’s values as well as the critical relationship between barista and customer which results in the unique and powerful connection that makes Starbucks a preferred brand. We plan to do the same in these geographies leveraging the talent and scale that we have built in the region.
“We are honoured and thankful to Starbucks leadership for trusting Alsea with this important opportunity. We look forward to finalising our discussions and working in close partnership with the European team to bring long-term profitable growth.”
Starbucks has also revealed plans to restructure its back-office support functions, which includes the closure of its support centre in Amsterdam. The company will continue to operate its manufacturing site in Amsterdam.
“This new structure will be the culmination of a long and thoughtful process to simplify our organisation so that it can best service our increasingly licensed store market strategy while continuing to embed our mission and values in how we operate everyday,” said Martin Brok, president, Europe, Middle East and Africa, Starbucks.