The country that do not have a Starbucks

by chee Leng (on coffee makers)

Starbucks Cafe

Starbucks Cafe

For folks that are reading this article, I am sure you know Starbucks, there is probably one near you and quite likely you have been to a Starbucks.

There are Starbucks everywhere in the world (even in tea drinking country such as China), but there is one country, you would not find one single Starbucks -Italy!

It was said that Italy is the birthplace of Starbucks. Howard Schultz turned Starbucks from a Coffee roaster into a Cafe chain phenomena after witnessing the dynamic cafe culture in Italy.

The questions that are going through my mind are:

Why is Starbucks not setting up in Italy?

What is preventing Starbucks from setting up in Italy?

When would be a good time to Start a cafe in Italy?

My $0.02

Why is Starbucks not setting up in Italy?

It could be a matter of positioning and "face". Setting up and making a decent business for a company like Starbucks should be easy.

If they would to make it in Italy, it is just another story. But, if they cannot make it in Italy, they have plenty to lose.

People might think that because Starbucks does not taste as good as the authentic Italian ones thus they are not able to penetrate.

And for a Global brand to lose out to a small cafes, ego and reputation would be bruised.

What is preventing Starbucks from setting up in Italy?

The whole culture of Italian culture is what prevents Starbucks from setting up shop in Italy. They do not drink coffee as the folks in US or other parts of the world does.

To the Italians, coffee is espresso, drink fast then move on to work. To the rest of the world, Starbucks is a good hang out place.

And this could be the culture and barrier that is preventing Starbucks from entering into Italy.

When would be a good time to Start a cafe in Italy?

My thought is, if Mc Cafe is able to do a decent business there, why not Starbucks.

While there is no Starbucks, there are Mc Donalds and Mc Cafe in Italy, and they are doing good business. So, if they are able to do it, so should Starbucks.

In fact, before it gets too crowded with many other coffee and fast food brands, Starbucks should gain a foothold in this country.

So, do I think Starbucks would be able to make it in a country that has different coffee drinking culture. My take is YES.

For a company that can shape the mindset of tea drinkers to buying gourmet coffee in less than a decade, convincing coffee drinkers to drink their cuppa other ways should be easier.

What do you think?

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