Starbucks explores UK business sale, reports sayon July 18, 2022 at 3:47 am

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The world’s biggest coffee chain has been hit hard by lockdown measures and changing customer habits.

A barista serves beverages in single-use cups inside a Starbucks in London.Image source, Getty Images

Starbucks is reportedly exploring a potential sale of its UK business as it faces increasingly tough competition and changing customer habits.

However, a “formal sales process” has not been started, according to media reports.

The world’s biggest coffee chain has been hit hard by lockdown measures around the world.

In May, the company said it is “single-mindedly focused on enhancing our core US business”.

The firm will continue to “evaluate strategic options” for its company-owned international operations, said according to the Times, which first reported the story.

Starbucks has taken on advisers Houlihan Lokey to explore possible options for the business, it added

The coffee chain did not immediately respond to a BBC request for comment.

Like much of the food and drinks takeaway industry, Starbucks was hit hard by measures to slow the spread of Covid-19.

Along with its rivals, it is also dealing with rising cost as well as having to adapt to customers’ changing habits as many people shift to hybrid work from home schedules.

The company is also facing increased competition in the UK from rival coffee chains including Costa, Pret A Manger and Tim Hortons.

Starbucks oversees around 1,000 outlets in the UK, of which about 70% are franchises while the remainder are owned by the firm.

The group is currently in the process of finding a new permanent chief executive, while former chief executive Howard Schultz took over the role temporarily.

In the US, the company has also been dealing with recent efforts by some of its workers to unionise.

In May, Starbucks said it would leave Russia after 15 years in the country due to the war in Ukraine.

The firm said that it would retreat entirely from the Russian market, after suspending trading there in March.

Starbucks entered Russia in 2007 and had grown to include 130 coffee shops, owned and operated by a licensee.

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