UK division to be sold

Starbucks is looking into selling its UK business.
Starbucks is looking into selling its UK business.

According to several newspaper reports, the world's largest coffee house chain Starbucks is looking for a buyer for its UK division. The brand's UK business comprises about 1,000 units and 4,000 employees.

A report in The Sunday Times said specifically that Starbucks was putting its UK division up for sale. According to the article, the group is looking into a possible sale of its U.K. operation in light of rising costs and increasing competition from other coffee house brands. Of the approximately 1,000 Starbucks units, the brand itself operates around 300, while the remaining 700 stores are run by franchisees.

The company's British arm, Starbucks Coffee Company UK, reported sales of 328 million pounds (386 million euros) for the past fiscal year, up 35 percent from the previous year. Profit before tax was 13.3 million pounds (15.7 million euros).

Hit by the pandemic

Starbucks was also hit hard by the Corona pandemic, particularly in the UK. In its financial statements, for example, the company reported that while sales in suburbs and shopping centers had recently recovered strongly, this was in contrast to stores in city centers. The company is also suffering from shortages of staff, truck drivers, rising supplier costs and delivery delays.

Last week, Starbucks founder and current interim CEO Howard Schultz had said that due to the current problems, the company would have to reinvent itself to compete globally in the future.