Starbucks enters Dutch market
Train passengers at Utrecht Central Station have been enjoying the world-famous coffee for the past few weeks and soon commuters at Amsterdam Central Station can follow suit.Utrecht – Lovers of Starbucks coffee no longer have to travel to Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport for their caffeine addiction as the Seattle-based coffee giant breaks into the Dutch market.
Earlier in August, a Starbucks store opened at Utrecht Central Station – the first to be opened outside of Schiphol and Nike's headquarters in Hilversum.
Dutch Railways (NS) and Starbucks plan to open another store at Amsterdam Central Station in mid autumn where customers can also buy cakes and sandwiches in addition to the world-famous coffee.
Starbucks is not entirely new to the Netherlands - the first store opened in Schiphol in 2002.
Now, the coffee giant plans to expand in the Netherlands by opening shops inside train stations.
A plan that is applauded by most expats who grew up with Starbucks in their home countries.. Dian Irawati, an Indonesian expat living in Utrecht for the past four years, adores the newly-opened Starbucks.
“It’s great! Having Starbucks around is a reminder of my life in Jakarta,” gushed Irawati who has visited the store twice since it opened on 5 August.
"Now, more Dutch can enjoy the unique concept of Starbucks where they can be served coffee by baristas and drink coffee in the famous 'living room' atmosphere, so typical of the Starbucks locations worldwide," said Madeleine van der Zwaan, CEO of Servex, the NS subsidiary responsible for the operation of Starbucks, on the NS website.
The opening of Starbucks is in line with NS’s mission to offer a variety of shops in Dutch train stations. NS operates the Starbucks locations at stations on the basis of a licensing agreement.
However, there is one complaint by the 30-year-old – the long queues at the ever-popular Starbucks.
“Utrecht’s Starbucks is always so crowded that it doesn’t invite people to stay. Sure it has a lounge and there is a great assortment of coffee and food, but I prefer not to queue.”
Elsewhere, Starbucks continues to scale back on its international products. In the United Kingdom, 31 stores will be closed n 2009. In 2008, the coffee giant closed more than 600 underperforming stores and fired over 12,000 workers in the States.