Starbucks to open 150 more European locations

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Starbucks Corp (SBUX.O: Quote, Profile, Research) is boosting its European presence with plans to license 150 new locations in Britain, France and Germany over the next three years in a deal with UK group SSP, Starbucks said on Thursday.

The coffee shops are to be opened at airports and railway stations and come as the chain looks to offset a slumping U.S. market with overseas growth.

Earlier this month Starbucks opened its first coffee shop in Argentina through a Mexican partnership.

The European deal is Starbucks’ largest licensing agreement outside the United States, according to The Wall Street Journal, and could test Europeans’ appetite for yet more take-out coffee.

“This collaboration aligns with our strategy to accelerate growth in our international business,” Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz said in a statement.

“It provides us with a strong platform to further expand the Starbucks brand across Europe.”

SSP is a food-retail operator that already runs three airport Starbucks and also operates Burger King and Pizza Hut outlets.

In November Starbucks reported its first quarterly drop in U.S. customer traffic to established stores and the trend has continued.

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