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Starbucks appoints Darren King as UK Store Development Director

King will take the lead on growing Starbucks’ company-operated and licensed store networks in the UK, includng site acquisition and the roll-out of the coffee chain’s Greener store programme

A refurbished Starbucks store at London Bridge, London, UK | Photo credit: Starbucks


Starbucks has appointed commercial and real estate specialist Darren King as its new UK Store Development Director. 

The UK Store Development Director role is part of Starbucks’ UK leadership team and heads up the coffee chain’s acquisition, design and construction departments. 

King will lead Starbucks’ UK store development programme, including strategic outlet growth for both company-operated and licensed stores. 

He will also lead efforts to transition the design and construction of Starbucks’ UK store portfolio to its Greener store programme – which focuses on lower-impact stores with reduced carbon emissions, water usage and waste to landfill.   


Read related content: “A relentless appetite for innovation” – Alex Rayner on 25 years of Starbucks in the UK 

Starbucks opened its first UK store in September 1998 and operates over 1,250 outlets nationwide. In March 2023 the business said its UK outlet growth would focus on ‘digitally-forward smaller stores’ and drive-thru

World Coffee Portal’s Project Café UK 2024 report shows the Seattle-based coffee chain opened 110 net new stores in the UK last year, including 56 drive-thru sites, to gain a 12% share of the total UK branded coffee shop market.  

King joins Starbucks from private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management, where he served as a Consulting Specialist on hospitality and leisure real estate deals.  

Prior to Cerberus, King held several senior roles at UK pub groups Greene King and Stonegate, including Strategy and Commercial Director, Commercial Property & Revenue Director and Business Unit Director. 

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