ICA opens three Starbucks

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Dansk Supermarked is already doing it.

Now ICA plans to open Starbucks in-store locations at Swedish ICA stores parallel to Starbucks’ high street flagship introduction later this year.

“This is a global strategy from Starbucks. It’s a very interesting channel for us”, says Starbucks Country Manager, Johan Rosenblom.

But ICA will have a separate channel – operating it’s own cafés. Thus, ICA will be the third Starbucks operator in Sweden.

ICA and Starbucks Sweden is both sending out announcements this morning.  ICA Sweden has signed a licensing agreement with Starbucks Coffee Company to open Starbucks retail stores in a grocery store channel in Sweden. The cafés will be operated by ICA according to the Starbucks licensing concept and under the Starbucks brand.

“By adding new businesses that complement and strengthen ICA’s stores and marketplaces, we can generate growth in our core business, grocery retail. The café sector is growing and this is part of our plan to strengthen our customer offering over time,” says Per Strömberg, CEO of ICA Gruppen.

Initially, the plan is to open three Starbucks retail stores during 2015. These will then be evaluated before a decision is made on the possible establishment of more cafés.

“We are very pleased with our partnership with Starbucks. Just like ICA, Starbucks has a strong brand and a clear focus on quality and ethics and shares the vision of satisfied customers. This is a good example of how we can increase customer benefit and highlight our stores as destinations,” says Anders Svensson, Deputy CEO of ICA Gruppen and CEO of ICA Sweden.

Parallel to this – Starbucks announces the first flagship store in a high street location in Stockholm. At Kungsgatan 2.

”It’s where Länsförsäkringar was located”, says Country Manager Johan Rosenblom.Johan Rosenblom - Starbucks Sweden

Starbucks focus is on flagships with a unique style in central Stockholm and surroundings.

“Mälardalen might be considered. It’s q question of logistics”, says Johan Rosenblom.

Next Starbucks’ store is said to follow quickly after Kungsgatan. Already announced is a unit in Mall of Scandinavia.

“We will also see smaller formats later on.”

Umoe is also operating Starbucks in Norway – where they have opened ten units so far in central Oslo.

”The market is a bit different. The coffee culture is more mature in Sweden. And we will have a bigger focus on flagships”, says Johan Rosenblom.

Umoe has the general right to the Starbucks’ brand in Sweden and has to approve other line-operators. SSP is previously licensed to operate Starbucks at airports and railway stations and now ICA comes in as a third player, operating Starbucks located in their own stores.

“There is no conflict-risk in this – it’s how Starbucks generally operates”, says Johan Rosenblom.