With Humility and Respect, Starbucks Turns its Eye Toward Italy

Thirty-three years after his initial visit to Milan, chairman and ceo Howard Schultz returns to Italy to announce Starbucks debut in the market that inspired its creation

Company to enter Italian market with noted brand, retail and real estate developer Percassi

MILAN--()--Starbucks Coffee Company (NASDAQ:SBUX) today announced a partnership to open the first Starbucks store in Italy. Percassi, confirmed as Starbucks licensee in Italy, will own and operate Starbucks stores, with the first store opening in Milan in early 2017.

Today’s announcement is especially significant for Starbucks Coffee Company chairman and ceo Howard Schultz. Thirty-three years ago, Schultz took his first business trip to Milan and Verona, a journey that changed his life forever. Inspired by the craftsmanship of the Milanese barista, the spirit of the Italian people, their passion for community, their friendliness and taste for quality, Schultz’s vision for Starbucks began to take root.

“Starbucks history is directly linked to the way the Italians created and executed the perfect shot of espresso. Everything that we’ve done sits on the foundation of those wonderful experiences that many of us have had in Italy, and we’ve aspired to be a respectful steward of that legacy for 45 years,” said Schultz. “Now we’re going to try, with great humility and respect, to share what we’ve been doing and what we’ve learned through our first retail presence in Italy. Our first store will be designed with painstaking detail and great respect for the Italian people and coffee culture. And, my hope is that we will create a sense of pride for our partners – so much so that every partner who sees our store or walks through the doors will say: ‘we got it right.’”

Working together with Percassi, Starbucks chosen partner in Italy, the company’s retail stores will be developed in cities across the country, beginning with the first store in Milan. Percassi, the licensee, is a renowned Italian company with a proven track record of operating highly-successful major brand partnerships across Italy. The company shares Starbucks values and passion for the history and cultural heritage of Italy, and will combine local expertise with demonstrated business success to make every single store an exciting, unique experience for new Italian customers. Starbucks is expected to open its first Italian store in Milan in early 2017.

"We know that we are going to face a unique challenge with the opening of the first Starbucks store in Italy, the country of coffee, and we are confident that Italian people are ready to live the Starbucks experience, as already occurs in many other markets," said Antonio Percassi, President of the company Percassi.

Starbucks and Percassi share common values and a commitment to creating pathways to youth opportunities and employment in communities right across Italy. Starbucks will partner with Percassi to support local projects our store partners love to work with around the world.

About Starbucks Coffee Company

Since 1971, Starbucks Coffee Company has been committed to ethically sourcing and roasting high-quality Arabica coffee. Today, with stores around the globe, the company is the premier roaster and retailer of specialty coffee in the world. Through our unwavering commitment to excellence and our guiding principles, we bring the unique Starbucks Experience to life for every customer through every cup.

To share in the experience, please visit us in our stores or online at news.starbucks.com.

About Percassi

Founded in 1976 by Antonio Percassi, it is a business company whose activities are focused on managing its portfolio of own trademarks (Kiko Milano, Madina, Womo and Bullfrog in cosmetics, Vergelio in footwear, Atalanta in sports, Da 30Polenta in food services) or in joint venture (Billionaire Italian Couture in clothing), in addition to the development and the management of the sales networks of important brands (among which Gucci, Polo Ralph Lauren, Nike, Victoria's Secret and LEGO Group). In the past Percassi developed stores worldwide for the Benetton Group and contributed to the entry and growth in the Italian market of Inditex (Zara, Massimo Dutti, Oysho, Pull and Bear, Bershka, Stradivarius) as well as of Swatch, Calvin Klein, Guess, Tommy Hilfiger and Levi's. Percassi operates also in the Real Estate business with the development and improvement of major real estate projects in the sales and managerial sector, always at the forefront of innovation and high quality.

With its headquarters in Bergamo, Percassi, whose activities are managed by the holding Odissea Srl, operates through facilities and offices in Milan, Paris, London, Berlin, Madrid, Lisbon, Warsaw, Zurich, Brussels, Grand Canyon, New York, Shanghai, Hong Kong and Dubai. For more information: www.percassi.com.

For more information please contact:

For enquiries on Starbucks launch in Italy: press@p-s.it; +39 0239624450

For international enquiries on Starbucks launch: emeacommunications@starbucks.com; +44 02088345164

For enquiries on Percassi: percassi@imagebuilding.it; +39 0289011300


Starbucks Coffee Company
Media Relations, 206-318-7100


Starbucks Coffee Company
Media Relations, 206-318-7100