Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

Starbucks Press Release

Thanks to a good friend who forwarded this . . . haven’t seen any slowdown in the Starbucks I visit. 🙂

January 16, 2009
Facts about Starbucks in the Middle East Arabic Language Statement

It is disheartening that calls for boycotts of Starbucks stores and products, which are based on blatant untruths, have had direct impacts on local economies and residents, and have also led to violent situations involving our stores, partners (employees) and customers.

Our more than 160,000 partners and business associates around the globe have diverse views about a wide range of topics. Regardless of that spectrum of belief, Starbucks Coffee Company remains a non-political organization. We do not support any political or religious cause. Further, allegations that Starbucks provides financial support to the Israeli government and/or the Israeli Army in any way are unequivocally false. Unfortunately, these rumors persist despite our best efforts to refute them.

What we do believe in, and remain focused on, is staying true to our company’s long-standing heritage — simply connecting with our partners and customers over a cup of high quality coffee and offering the best experience possible to them – regardless of geographical location. Though our roots are in the United States, we are a global company with stores in 49 countries, including more than 230 stores in nine Middle Eastern countries. In countries where we do business, we are proud to be a part of the fabric of the local community — working directly with local partners who operate our stores, employing thousands of local citizens, serving millions of customers and positively impacting many others through our support of neighborhoods and cities.

Myths

Is it true that Starbucks provides financial support to Israel?
No. This is absolutely untrue. Rumors that Starbucks Coffee Company provides financial support to the Israeli government and/or the Israeli Army are unequivocally false. Starbucks is a publicly held company and as such, is required to disclose any corporate giving each year through a proxy statement. In addition, articles in the London Telegraph (U.K.), New Straits Times (Malaysia), and Spiked (online) provide an outside perspective on these false rumors.

Has Starbucks ever sent any of its profits to the Israeli government and/or Israeli army?
No. This is absolutely untrue.

Is it true that Starbucks is teaming with other American corporations to send their last several weeks of profits to the Israeli government and/or the Israeli Army?
No. This is absolutely untrue.

Is it true that Starbucks closed its stores in Israel for political reasons?
No. We do not make business decisions based on political issues. We decided to dissolve our partnership in Israel in 2003 due to the on-going operational challenges that we experienced in that market. After many months of discussion with our partner we came to this amicable decision. While this was a difficult decision for both companies, we believe it remains the right decision for our businesses.

Middle East Partnership and Operations

Do you work with a Middle East partner to operate Starbucks stores?
Through a licensing agreement with trading partner and licensee MH Alshaya WLL, a private Kuwait family business, Starbucks has operated in the Middle East since 1999. Today Alshaya Group, recognized as one of the leading and most influential retailing franchisees in the region, operates more than 274 Starbucks stores in the Middle East and Levant region. In addition to its Starbucks stores, the Alshaya Group operates more than 1,700 other retail stores in the region, providing jobs for more than 15,000 employees of more than 35 nationalities.

We are extremely fortunate and proud to have forged a successful partnership for the past ten years and look forward to building on this success.

In which Middle Eastern countries do you operate?
We partner with Alshaya Group to operate Starbucks stores in Egypt, Kuwait, KSA, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman, UAE, Jordan and Lebanon in the Middle East region. We are fortunate to have the opportunity to work with so many communities, and we are committed to providing the Starbucks Experience while respecting the local customs and cultures of each country we are a part of. We are also committed to hiring locally, providing jobs to thousands of local citizens in the countries where we operate.

Are you still operating Starbucks stores in Israel? If not, do you have plans to re-open should the opportunity arise?
We decided to dissolve our partnership in Israel in 2003 due to the on-going operational challenges that we experienced in that market.

When and where the business case makes sense and we see a fit for the Starbucks brand in a market we will work closely with a local partner to assess the feasibility of offering our brand to that community. We will therefore continue to assess all opportunities on this basis. At present, we will continue to grow our business in the Middle East as we have been very gratified by the strong reception of the brand in the region. We continue to work closely with our business partner, the Alshaya Group, in developing our plans for the region.

Contact Information:
Starbucks Coffee Company
Customer Relations
(800) 235-2883
info@starbucks.com

January 31, 2009 - Posted by | Uncategorized

6 Comments »

  1. thx for posting this up, i love how many of ur posts encourage awareness!
    i am sick of tired of ppl (those that i know!) pledge to boycott something and when asked why, they just mindlessly say ‘ISRAEL IS THE DEVILLLLLL!!!!’.
    its coffee. picked by poor rural farmers. for ur fat mouths. whats israel have to do with it? they’d go ‘TO SAVE PALESTIIIIINEE!!!’. yeah,boycotting the largest coffee company in the world will surely demolish israelis. yes thats the ticket.

    Comment by Mrm | January 31, 2009 | Reply

  2. This boycott also happened to Mcdonalds before ,

    StarBucks is a hated company because they always try to confuse the customer to purchase more expensive coffees and stuff they dont need especially with shy young students speaks volumes of their greed .

    Also raising their prices exuberantly was unjustified in kuwait where they dont pay taxes or hire local kuwaiti .So in my opinion they deserve this rough treatment even if they havent been supporting Israel maybe they will learn to be more nicer to their customers and stop this razzle dazzle sales tactic

    In 2007 when we had the power rationalization (brown outs ) Starbucks did not participate in this program even in a single iota of conservation of electric power , their spot lights were on in the middle of the glaring noon and their air conditioning was on full blast and whilst their doors were fully open ???? so how about that for social responsibilities blah blah blah

    Comment by daggero | January 31, 2009 | Reply

  3. Just a hint of sarcasm, Mrm? Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how did you like the play? (LLLLOOOLLLLL!)

    Oh my goodness, Daggero, you sound bitter! You won’t hear a word against Starbucks out of me – or against Seattle Best, or any of the beaneries out of Seattle. Except, you are right, the prices are horrendous!

    Comment by intlxpatr | February 1, 2009 | Reply

  4. Frankly, Israel or no Israel, I am not a big fan of Starbucks coffee.

    One thing that has really bothered me in the past 15 years or so is the literal invasion of food franchises in Kuwait that have truly changed the eating habits of Kuwaitis and influenced them in ways they are not aware of until too late…and not necessarily healthy eating habits either.

    A few years ago at the KU campus cafeteria branch of Starbucks, I asked for a decaf and they did not have any. I chatted with an engineering student on my left who confessed in a giggly tone that she could not let a day go by without a Starbucks coffee.

    Some women I know pick up their Starbucks coffee on the way to work.

    If you love coffee, what is so hard in percolating your own at home?

    I feel people who blindly follow the crowds are like sheep (sorry sheep, no ill intentions against you per se 😉 ).

    Comment by jewaira | February 1, 2009 | Reply

  5. Jewaira, I agree, some of the roasts are too strong and some of the brews bitter and on top of everything, the prices! Buy good coffee and you can brew good coffee, and I brew my own.

    Having said that, when I go back to the US around Christmas, I do love both the Peppermint Mocha and the Gingerbread Latte, can’t do those myself, and they are delish.

    We could not agree more about the American franchises – I believe there is a direct correlation between these franchises and the rate of obesity worldwide, the franchises, and that people all over the world are eating more meat. I am not vegetarian, I do eat meat, but way low on the food chain most of the time. oh yeh, and we all need to get off our bottoms, push away from the computers and get some exercise!

    Comment by intlxpatr | February 1, 2009 | Reply

  6. […] bookmarks tagged bahrain Starbucks Press Release saved by 23 others     mrpregnant bookmarked on 02/03/09 | […]

    Pingback by Pages tagged "bahrain" | February 3, 2009 | Reply


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