US Ambassador Nicholas Taubman confirmed the rumors about the imminent opening of Starbucks cafes in Bucharest. Starbucks is currently one of the world's largest coffee shop networks, with over 12,000 locations worldwide. In Bucharest, the first two locations will most probably be placed in two malls - Vitan Mall and Plaza Romania.
Starbucks will function as a franchise, being brought to Romania by the Greek company Marianopoulos, also operating franchises for Marks&Spencer, Sephora and The Body Shop.
Starbucks was born in Seattle in 1971 by an English teacher, Jerry Baldwin, a history teacher - Zev Siegel and writes Gordon Bowker. In 1987, Starbucks was bought by Howard Schultz, the main figure in the spectacular evolution of the network.
In November 2006, Starbucks held 7100 locations worldwide, out of which 5668 in the USA. Other 5500 locations are operated as franchises. The company goal is to reach 20,000 locations during the following years, China being considered as one of the most attractive targets.
Starbucks is seen as one of the most powerful US capitalist symbols, some locations being recently vandalized by far-left activists, during the last World Trade Organization summit.
Despite all criticism about monopoly Starbucks only holds 2% of the world's coffee trade.