With sales in Europe lagging behind Starbucks stores in America and Asia, the Seattle-based coffee chain is revamping its European image in hopes of wooing Continental coffee snobs. France has been the most difficult market for Starbucks, it being the place where this whole coffee house thing took off, et all:
France may prove a particular challenge. Promenade on a Parisian boulevard with a paper coffee cup? Ça ne se fait pas! It just isn’t done. After eight years spent setting up 63 French Starbucks stores, the company has never turned a profit in France.
The company is challenged with finding out whether foreigners want the "true Starbucks experience," with coffees to go and super-friendly service, or customized storefronts that fit into a given European city's architecture, cultural or otherwise.
[Photo: Amy McKeever/EN]