Starbucks cafes to open in Italy in early 2017

Starbucks, the world’s biggest coffee chain, said on Sunday that Italian businessman Antonio Percassi would open the first Starbucks cafe in Milan in early 2017, bringing the brand to one of the top coffee-consuming nations in Europe.

Under the licensing arrangement, Percassi will own and operate the stores, the company said.

Starbucks was started by Chief Executive Officer Howard Schultz after a business trip to Milan and Verona that gave him his vision for the chain, Starbucks said.

Italy has the seventh highest per capita coffee consumption in Europe, according to the European Coffee Federation.

The Percassi group is based in Bergam, near Milan, and owns cosmetics chain Kiko. It has a franchising deal in Italy with U.S. lingerie chain Victoria’s Secret.

Financial terms were not disclosed.

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