Starbucks may finally expand its business into Italy, in a move that some consider as a "sacrilege" to the traditional Italian café culture.
According to a report in Italian daily Corriere della Sera, the deal with Italian businessman Antonio Percassi could be signed before Christmas with the first store in Milan opening in 2015.
The Seattle-based coffee company Starbucks has been seeking to enter the elusive Italian market for 20 years.
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The idea is to select locations in the city centre, concentrated around the business districts, where bankers, lawyers, entrepreneurs and professionals meet to talk shop and, above all, need a good Wi-Fi connection.
An additional appeal for Italians could be the possibility of accessing the Starbucks Digital Network, offering movies, TV series and news.
Unsurprisingly, the possible arrival of Starbucks has been met by criticism from coffee specialists and café owners in Italy. They fear that chains like Starbucks may destroy the individuality of the Italian bars, pastry shops and coffee places. However, others have stated they welcome competition and are ready to take on the American giant.
© 2015 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Branislav Pekic. To subscribe to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine, click here.