Starbucks is reportedly mulling the sale of its UK operations as the coffee competition heats up. According to reports from Financial Times, it is working with its adviser, and global investment bank Houlihan Lokey, to keep a lookout for the sale of the business. However, an official sales process has not yet been initiated. Currently, Starbucks has over a thousand shops in the UK, majority of which are franchised.
Meanwhile, closer to home Starbucks in China has faced increasing revenue pressures due to COVID-19 restrictions. The company reported a comparable store sale decrease of 23% in the country. Interim CEO Howard Schultz said the company has had a single-minded focus on enhancing its core business, and said he remains convinced that Starbucks’ business in China will be eventually larger than that in the US. In April this year, Schultz, who is the founder of the company, came back to take the helm and shared with all company stakeholders a vision and invitation to join in the reimagination of the company he built.
“I am returning to the company to work with all of you to design our next Starbucks — an evolution of our company deep with purpose, where we each have agency and where we work together to create a positive impact in the world,” he said. Schultz is known for his transparent and bold leadership with a history of leading a business.
Meanwhile, in May this year, Starbucks announced its plans to launch a global NFT loyalty programme. The NFT collections will function similarly to its current Starbucks Rewards loyalty programme to provide members access to exclusive experiences and perks.
Additionally, Starbucks also plans to launch a Web3 platform, Starbucks Digital Community. While Starbucks has yet to disclose further details, it said that it will utilise blockchains and infrastructure that is consistent with its “multi-decade commitment to sustainability”. The NFT loyalty programme and digital community will kick off in the US and subsequently roll out to other markets.
Separately, in Singapore, ahead of National Day, Starbucks has been launching slews of promotions and campaigns. In partnership with the Ang Ku Kueh girl, Starbucks Singapore relaunched its locally inspired “gao” Shiok-ah-ccino drinks for Singapore’s National Day just a few days ago. Last month, Starbucks South Korea also partnered with Samsung to launch branded merch for Samsung’s Galaxy S22 line up. As part of the collaboration, Starbucks related designs were incorporated into the Samsung products.