Global coffeehouse chain Starbucks is set to grant full licence of its business operations in France, the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg to strategic partner Alsea.
Alsea is an independent chain restaurant operator in Latin America, which operates more than 900 Starbucks stores in Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Uruguay.
As part of the deal, Alsea will operate and develop Starbucks stores in the four countries by leveraging Starbucks’ regional growth agenda.
The deal will also allow Alsea to expand its relationship with Starbucks in Europe as well as expand the partnership in nine markets globally.
Starbucks International, channel development and global coffee & tea group president John Culver 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 Luxembourg.
“These strategic moves would enable us to further accelerate growth across these markets as we position Starbucks for long-term success moving forward.”
Starbucks also plans to restructure its back-office support functions to drive growth in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) through strategic licensed partnerships.
As part of the expansion, the coffeehouse chain is planning to introduce a new support structure in its London head office to serve the company’s licensed strategy. Starbucks will also close its support centre in Amsterdam.
However, the chain will continue to operate its manufacturing site in Amsterdam, currently offering roasting and packaging Arabica coffee for EMEA.
Starbucks EMEA president Martin Brok said: “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 every day.”
Starbucks entered Paris by opening its first store in 2004 and expanded its operations to the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg between 2008 and 2016.
It is currently operating more than 260 stores across the four countries.