Starbucks has recently been focusing on international business and location expansion. Focusing on Starbucks plan for international growth, the following is a brief SWOT analysis:
• Strengths: Starbucks uses joint ventures and licensing of other companies to own and operate Starbuck locations as a strategy for international expansion (Jung, 2003). Domestically, Starbuck locations are only company owned. The international infrastructure that Starbucks maintains allows for easy expansion.
• Weaknesses: Decreased control of Starbucks international locations might lead to a change in the overall ‘Starbuck experience’ with joint ventures and other companies operating international locations.
• Opportunities: Coffee lovers are found all over the world. Coffee growers are found all over the world.
• Threats: International economic downturns, War, and anti-American sentiment all pose threats to Starbucks international existence and success.
Overall, Starbucks international business expansion strategy is good and will lead to success. By forming joint ventures and licensing local companies to own and operate locations, Starbucks is able to reduce the international feeling of corporate colonialism toward the company.
This strategy allows Starbucks to support local international communities by supporting local businesses with jobs and increased incomes. Starbucks already has a well developed international infrastructure in place due to the long-standing partnerships with local coffee growers.
Starbucks is able to build and expand on these established partnerships to further provide store-front opportunities in the international setting. Starbucks does need to be concerned with maintaining the Starbucks atmosphere and experience that has been the basis of success to date. Otherwise, the strategy of using local businesses to grow international presence is the only way Starbucks will be supported to times of international political unrest.