Starbucks sells control of its Australian operations to Withers Group, which owns Australian arm of 7-Eleven; financial terms not disclosed
May 28, 2014
(Australian Associated Press)
– The owners of 7-Eleven stores in Australia have taken control of the local operations of global coffee maker Starbucks.
The Withers Group, run by one of Australia's wealthiest families, plan to turn around the fortunes of the coffee chain, which has failed to gain a foothold in the burgeoning Australian coffee market.
"Our aim will be to make Starbucks the most successful coffee chain in Australia," Withers Group chief executive Warren Wilmot said in a statement.
"Our intention is to capitalise on the skills of the broader Withers group of companies in successfully bringing an international brand to Australia, and adapting it to suit the local market."
The Withers Group owns the Australian arm of 7-Eleven, which has grown to 600 stores across the country.
Getting similar growth from the Starbucks assets will be major challenge given the US chain has struggled since opening its first store in Sydney in 2000.
After years of losing money, the company closed about 60 stores and sacked 685 staff, leaving its current stable of 24 stores along the east coast.
The Withers Group have indicated Starbucks stores will now be operated by the group, rather than franchisees, and that the coffee stores will remain independent from 7-Eleven stores.
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