Starbucks Corp. is planning to expand its franchise agreement with the U.S. coffee giant's Latin American partner, Alsea SAB de CV, to fully license Starbucks operations in France, the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg.
The coffee-shop chain said Oct. 18 that the strategy would enable it to help grow its business in the three European markets. The proposal is subject to local laws and discussions with employee representatives.
Separately, vending services supplier Selecta Group BV signed an agreement to run Starbucks' self-service concept, called Starbucks on the Go, in Europe.
Starbucks is also opening a new support structure at its Europe, Middle East and Africa regional headquarters in London while planning to close the one in Amsterdam. Its Arabica coffee manufacturing facility in Amsterdam will continue operating.
Seattle-based Starbucks, which debuted Sept. 7 in Italy with a new Reserve Roastery outlet, said the London support structure will help an increasingly licensed regional strategy. In March, the company fully licensed its Brazilian retail business to the country's SouthRock Capital.
Starbucks' own stores in the EMEA region will serve as innovation centers amid an ongoing evaluation of its store portfolio in the region.