Earlier this week, Starbucks revealed a news that has been some 30 years in the making. The company is planning on entering the Italian market in 2018. It will first try to do so by opening a Roastery.
News on the matter was released earlier this week. They were published on the official Starbucks company blog on February 28th. This press release also included a statement from Howard Schultz. He is Starbucks’s CEO and Chairman.
According to his own statement, Schultz has been looking forward to expanding the company to Italy. He has been dreaming of doing so since his first trip to the country, some 30 years ago. As such, Schultz has been planning on returning with the most “immersive, magical retail experiences in the world”.
And Starbucks may start doing so beginning with 2018. The coffeehouse chain will be opening up their first store in Milan. It will be opening up a Roastery. This will be spread out across a 25,500 square foot retail space. The Roastery will be situated in the Palazzo Delle Poste, a turn-of-the-century building in Piazza Cordusio.
According to the statement, Starbucks will be serving its small batch, premium Reserve coffees. These will be served in “a beautiful environment” after being brewed according to various methods.
Just recently, during the Investor Day, Starbucks revealed its plan for the Reserve brand. An ongoing investment, the coffeehouse chain will be looking to open 20 to 30 Roastery locations. These will be opened over time and all over the world.
This Roastery is not set to be Starbuck’s only Italian investment. The chain also added Percassi as a business partner and Italian licensee.
Following the opening of the Roastery, Percassi is also set to launch a small number of Starbucks stores. These will be only targeting Milan, at least for the moment. And they will also be opened up “for the balance of 2018”.
According to the press release, these stores will be carefully curated and designed. They will be trying to respect the unique Milanese context and also the local community.
Starbucks also presented its strategy for entering the Italian market. It will mostly be taking a measured, respectful approach, one that will respect the country’s cultural and coffee-related traditions.
Both the Roastery and the Percassi/Starbucks stores should be opened throughout 2018. The company estimates that they will be creating some 350 workplaces at a local level.
As it is, Italy’s reaction to the Roastery remains to be determined. Most consider the introduction of McDonald’s on the Italian market as the spark which led to the ‘Slow Food” movement. Not that the company did not expand and enlarge its Italian business.
Presently, the Roastery chain is quite a success for the company. Its 2014 debut in Seattle marked the company’s most successful store opening. Since then, more such locations have been announced besides the Milan one. A new Roastery should open in Shanghai in 2017. And 2018 could see the launch of two new locations in New York and Tokyo.
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