Starbucks CEO says chain ready to enter Italy after 35 years


MILAN: Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz‘s vision for the chain was largely inspired by the coffee bars he saw on his first trip to Milan more than three decades ago. But it took the company growing to about 26,000 stores in 75 countries in win the credibility he felt necessary to make the leap into the country that gave the world espresso.

“I didn’t think we were ready to come to Italy,” Schultz told The Associated Press in an interview Monday. “I think Italy is such a special place. I am so respectful of the Italian coffee heritage and the Italian culture, and I think we had to earn that respect, opportunity, and I think over the years we got to the point that we are now ready to come.”

As he prepares to step down as CEO in April, Schultz will focus on innovation. That includes a Milan location that will open in 2018 of what he called “the quintessential Roastery” – one of the high-end shops featuring in-house roasting and…



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