Is Starbucks Coming to Italy?
Is Italy sacred ground, where no Starbucks shall ever reign? It may not be anymore: New reports show that the coffee giant might finally be expanding to a land where its coffee is sacred.
This year, multiple news reports showed that Starbucks, despite its massive global expansion, may never step foot in Italy. Businesweek, back in February, reported on Starbucks' hesitation to expand in Italy because of the coffee culture in the country. After all, a coffee break in Italy is a far cry from the Starbucks run in America. Wrote Stephan Faris, "Can a company succeed in a place where its product is available on every corner, where consumers remain wedded to a culture that’s all their own? Is it possible for an international brand to repackage a local tradition to the very people who invented it?"
But the company may have overcome its hesitations: ABC News reported in April that the company was adding 650 new locations to central Europe. And travel blog Jaunted spotted what appeared to be Italian advertisements for Starbucks in local newspapers. The story said, "We didn’t see any 'coming soon' signs to specifically pinpoint locations, but that doesn’t mean that there wasn’t a frappuccino assembly line hiding behind some vacant storefront."
No matter what, Starbucks faces new challenges in Italy, where nearly 70 million coffees are consumed each year. Still, not everyone is against Starbucks coming to Italy — there's even a Facebook page (albeit small) dedicated to a hopeful Italian Starbucks lover. Says the page, "I'm sure there are more than 1 million people who want a distribution center in Italy." We'll have to see if there are 1 million Starbucks-hungry Italians in the future.