Siren Invasion: Starbucks Expands To Scandinavia

As per this feature in the Wall Street Journal, Starbucks is readying for a major expansion into Scandinavia:

[Starbucks] will open the first in a series of stand-alone stores in Norway’s biggest city, Oslo, next year and then expand to the streets and neighborhoods of Stockholm.

The Seattle company currently has eight stores in the Nordic region, mostly tucked into train stations and behind security gates at airports. In an effort to find more customers and attract a more steady diet of repeat customers, it has signed a deal with a Norwegian firm—Umoe Restaurant Group—in hopes of building a far more robust network in some of the healthiest economies in the world.

“This is a milestone deal,” Michelle Gass, head of Starbucks operations in Europe, said in an interview Wednesday. The Umoe deal will be officially announced on Thursday in Europe.

The feature goes on to detail just how expensive it is to do business in Scandinavia, with hefty labor costs, national taxes, and a set of Big Mac index rates approaching $7. But will Starbucks be targeting your average daily fika taker? Or will Schultz & Co. go after more boutique coffee tastes? For a perspective that might surprise you, we’ve captured this raw feed of an early morning interview conducted today with Tim Wendelboe, ofnOslo’s noted cafe/roaster Tim Wendelboe:

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