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Starbucks Advances Latin America Expansion

Stocks in this article: SBUX

Starbucks Coffee Company (NASDAQ:SBUX) today announced it is continuing to broaden the company’s presence in Latin America, sharing new store plans for Colombia, Bolivia and Panama over the course of the next year through licensed agreements with long-time business partners.

“Starbucks relationship with Latin America dates back to 1971 when we began buying coffee from the region. Today we source more than half of our coffee from Latin American countries,” said Cliff Burrows, group president, Starbucks Americas, U.S., and Teavana. “We see significant opportunity to grow our retail presence beyond the more than 740 stores and 10,000 partners we currently have in 12 countries in the region in a way that will continue to celebrate the region’s rich coffee heritage while also deepening our relationships with each of the communities we serve.”

Starbucks confirmed that it is on track to open its first café in Colombia in Bogota in mid-summer 2014 through a joint venture between two of its longest-term business partners in the Latin America region – Alsea and Grupo Nutresa. Over the next five years, the joint venture plans to expand aggressively in Bogota and to other major cities in Colombia. Alsea has partnered with Starbucks for more than 11 years in the region and currently operates more than 500 Starbucks stores in México, Argentina and Chile, employing a total of more than 8,000 partners (employees). Colcafe, a subsidiary of Grupo Nutresa, Colombia’s leading food company, worked with Starbucks to create Starbucks VIA® Ready Brew soluble coffee and continues to be an innovative, strategic partner in manufacturing and now retail. Colcafe and Starbucks are expanding their manufacturing relationship to offer Colombian customers locally sourced and roasted espresso, drip and packaged Colombian coffee at Starbucks stores in Colombia.

Following the Colombia opening later in 2014, Delosi, Starbucks long-time business partner in the Andean region, plans to open Starbucks first store in Bolivia in the commercial center of Santa Cruz through its subsidiary Delosur. Delosi currently operates 71 restaurants, employing more than 1,000 people in the Andean region. Starbucks and Delosi see an opportunity to add up to 10 stores in Bolivia over the next several years.

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