Since opening its first store in Germany back in 2002, Starbucks’ growth in Europe’s largest economy hasn’t been the success story the company had hoped for. However, Starbucks isn’t ready to give up the fight and recently announced plans to make a new push in the country with the hopes of leading the coffee giant into a much larger European expansion.
Starbucks now has 160 stores in 40 towns throughout Germany, not quite the 200 stores the company had hoped for back in 2002. Part of the reason for the lack of success in Germany comes down to location, and management has admitted that their approach to open shops in the more expensive town centers wasn’t the best approach.
Learning from their mistakes, Starbucks plans to open new locations in train stations, Autobahn service areas, and their relatively new self-service Corner Cafes throughout some of the larger cities such as Berlin, Munich and Dusseldorf.
The corner cafes have been a new concept for Starbucks, where self-service machines are placed within offices to provide workers with a range of the coffee company’s top drinks brewed fresh on the spot. So far there are 100 Corner Cafes running in four countries, but that is about to change. Kris Engskov, who leads Starbucks’ Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) division, told Reuters, “We want to open Corner Cafes in 10 countries and Germany has priority.”
Another possible route the company is looking to take in Germany is opening stores under a franchising system. Starbucks typically doesn’t go the franchise route with its stores, but has recently tried it out in Britain, and will roll out its first in France later this year.