Starbucks has inked a deal with a unit of global grocery behemoth Groupe Casino to license coffee shops in the group’s supermarkets in France.
The Seattle coffee company had 101 locations in France at the end of March — just one for every 647,000 residents, versus one for every 26,000 in the U.S.
Casino, one of the world’s largest retailers, operates 444 supermarkets and 127 larger “hypermarkets” in France, though the two companies didn’t disclose how many locations would have a Starbucks. The first one will open before the end of the year.
The move highlights Starbucks’ shift to growth through licensing rather than operating its own stores in Europe. That has recently helped Starbucks reverse years of sluggish performance in the Old World.
In France, the number of stores operated by Starbucks at the end of March was 77, up about 20 percent from three years earlier, while the number of licensed stores operated by partners soared from 4 to 24 in the same period.
Licensing out to large retailers has been a proven avenue to growth for Starbucks in the U.S., too. Target, for example, has said it has more than 1,000 Starbucks locations in its U.S. stores.
There are about 4,823 licensed Starbucks in the U.S.
The locations within the Casino stores will be run by that group’s restaurant unit, which operates several cafeteria and restaurant chains.
The Seattle Times