MILAN – Starbucks is set to move its regional headquarters of our Europe, Middle East and Africa business from Amsterdam to London, effective end of 2014.
This move will concentrate a modest number of senior executives in its operation in London, some of whom are currently based in Amsterdam, the company announced in a statement on Wednesday.
“By making this move, our senior leaders will be better able to oversee the UK market in which over half of our European stores – with more than 7,500 employees – are located” said the statement.
Announcing the move, Kris Engskov, President, Starbucks EMEA declared: “Closer proximity to our biggest market will be critical to our success as we grow our business across Europe and the globe.”
“Since Starbucks opened its first stores in Europe in 1998, we have grown to over 2,000 stores in 35 countries. Today, our largest and fastest growing European market is the UK. As the coffee industry has grown, the UK and London specifically has become one of the most competitive coffee markets in the world.”
In the UK alone, we plan to open over 100 retail stores across the country this year, creating 1,000 new, permanent jobs. We expect continued growth in other European markets as well. This move will mean we pay more tax in the UK,” the statement also said.
“We will continue to employ over 200 partners in our Amsterdam hub to support our EMEA business. On this site we roast and distribute all of the coffee for the whole of Europe, and that will not change with the European Head Office move.”
Starbucks’ European head office was at the centre of criticisms 18 months ago that it had been depressing the group’s tax bills around Europe by charging sister companies heavy royalty fees.
Last year, Starbucks paid £5m in corporation tax, its first such tax payment since 2009.
The move followed pressure from politicians and campaigners.