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Starbucks to open 100 smaller-format stores across the UK

The US coffee chain will open 100 ‘digitally-forward smaller stores’ and drive-thru sites in the UK and has outlined plans for 300 new outlets across Europe, the Middle East and Africa

Starbucks currently operates 1,150 outlets across the UK, including 284 drive-thru sites | Photo credit: Hamza Inayat


Starbucks is set to invest £30m ($36m) over the next 12 months to open 100 new UK stores with a focus on convenience formats. 

The Seattle-based coffee chain is also seeking to open 300 smaller format outlets across Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

In an interview with The Telegraph, Duncan Moir, President of Starbucks Europe, Middle East & Africa (EMEA), said the coffee chain will open ‘digitally-forward smaller stores’ and drive-thru outlets across the UK alongside a refurbishment programme to upgrade existing stores. 

World Coffee Portal research shows Starbucks currently operates 1,150 outlets across the UK, including 284 drive-thru sites. 

“Whilst we are cautious about the macro-economic environment, we will continue to invest to grow the region this year. We plan to open over 100 new stores in the UK and 300 new stores in EMEA, to continue this growth momentum,” said Moir. 

The investment indicates a commitment to the UK market following reports last year in The Times that Starbucks was considering the sale of its UK business. 

Starbucks, which celebrates 25 years of operations in the UK in 2023, told World Coffee Portal in July 2022 that it was ‘not in a formal sale process for the company’s UK business’

Accounts filed with Companies House show Starbucks’ UK sales surpassed pre-pandemic levels last year, growing 37% to reach £449m ($540m). 

However, rising inflation and raw material costs prompted a fall in pre-tax profits of approximately 20% to £10.4m ($12.5m). 

World Coffee Portal research forecasts the 9,885-strong UK branded coffee shop market will surpass 10,200 outlets by 2024 and exceed 11,600 stores by January 2028. 

Separate World Coffee Portal data shows Starbucks is currently the third largest branded coffee chain across Europe with a presence in more than 30 markets and the largest across the Middle East, with more than 1,000 outlets across 10 markets. 

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