Starbucks is going back to its roots.
The world’s biggest chain of coffee shops is to open in Italy under an arrangement with local businessman Antonio Percassi, who will own and operate the stores.
The company’s Chief Executive Howard Schultz has said that a business trip to Milan and Verona in the 1980s inspired him to start Starbucks.
Milan is slated for the first Italian store, opening early next year, with what the company said in a news release would be “painstaking attention to detail” to “honour the Italian people and their coffee culture” and with “great humility and respect”.
Breaking News: With Humility and Respect,
Starbucks</a> to Open in Italy in 2017 <a href="https://t.co/JfVVW51qV3">https://t.co/JfVVW51qV3</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Italy?src=hash">#Italy</a> <a href="https://t.co/SIvlEdKUCl">pic.twitter.com/SIvlEdKUCl</a></p>— Starbucks News (Starbucksnews) February 28, 2016
Italians are the seventh highest per capita drinkers of coffee in Europe, according to the European Coffee Federation.
The Percassi group is based in Bergam, near Milan, and owns cosmetics chain Kiko. It has a franchising deal in Italy with US lingerie maker Victoria’s Secret.