Starbucks ticked off over third-party stores
11 February, 2013
Starbucks has opened its first pure franchised operation in the UK - amid complaints that its third party sites aren’t quite in tune with directly managed sites.
The first franchised venue, as opposed to the 'licensed' operations it has with Welcome Break and SSP, is at Liphook services on the A3 road in Hampshire (staff pictured), and is part of an eight-store deal with the local 23.5 Degrees business. More are scheduled to follow in towns including Bournemouth, Farnborough, Portsmouth and Southampton.
But like others who move into the sector, Starbucks will have to tread carefully if it is to preserve its brand integrity. The last few weeks have seen complaints on Twitter and other platforms that some existing third party Starbucks sites, in particular on motorwats and in airports, aren’t in line with directly managed sites, especilly when it comes to the acceptance of loyalty cards and app-based offers.
The 23.5 Degrees deal signals the start of the push into the franchised market promised by UK and Ireland managing director Kris Engskov. He said: “The UK is one of the most important markets for Starbucks. There are plenty of opportunities throughout the UK for great coffee, and franchising will help us to build the Starbucks brand in those towns and locations we have not yet had the opportunity to serve.”
Starbucks has previously set a target of around 200 franchised stores in the UK over the next four years.
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