Starbucks to expand to Bulgaria, Portugal

SEATTLE Starbucks Corp. will broaden its reach in Europe with locations in Bulgaria and Portugal next year through deals with two existing developers, the company said.

The first Bulgarian location will open in the capital city of Sofia through a joint venture agreement with Marinopoulos Group of Athens, Greece. Starbucks has previously worked with that company to develop locations in Greece, Cyprus, Romania, Switzerland and Austria.

Similarly, a new deal with Grupo VIPS of Madrid, Spain, which has previously developed Starbucks locations in Spain and France, will lead to a new store in the Portuguese capital of Lisbon.

Both locations are planned for 2008, but targeted opening dates were not disclosed.

"Extending the reach of our agreements with established business partners gives us the capability to gain leverage," said Cliff Burrows, president of Starbucks' Europe, Middle East and Africa division. "We look forward to bringing our high quality coffees and the Starbucks Experience to these important emerging consumer markets."

Seattle-based Starbucks operates or licenses about 15,000 locations in the United States and 42 other countries.