Positioning Strategy for Starbucks in the Netherlands

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As exports and imports of goods and services both account for over 60% of nominal GDP, the life-blood of Dutch prosperity is foreign trade. Because of its internally-oriented characteristics, Netherlands has the embedded culture that welcomes diversified products or services from the world, while in some other countries in the EU, for instance, France or Italy, have ultimate pride for their own culture, especially for the product that I am planning to introduce—coffee. Being an everyday coffee-drinker, it is particularly interesting for me to analyze whether the coffee company that represents the U.S. will be successful when entering the Dutch market.

 Economic Background
The openness of the
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The growing chained coffee shops culture in the on-trade has inspired manufacturers to launch specialty coffees in the off-trade. This has led to an increase in both volume and value sales of coffee in the Netherlands. Dutch consumers are becoming more adventurous when it comes to coffee, as is illustrated by the growing popularity of espresso, cappuccino, single origin coffee and flavored coffee.

Because of the Netherlands’ geographic advantage, Starbucks has set up a brewing plant and distribution center in Amsterdam in 2002 distributing coffee beans in the region of Europe. A headquarter is also set up is Amsterdam to take in charge of its European market. Interestingly enough, no single Starbucks store was opened in the Netherlands until mid 2007. From the 3rd quarter of 2007, finally two Starbucks stores opened—the first one is in Hilversum inside the Nike HQ, and the second one is in Terminal 1 at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport (European departures). However, only a Nike employee can buy a drink in Hilversum, and in order to buy a drink at Schiphol Airport, customers would need to have a flight ticket to a destination in Europe. In the year-end of 2007, Starbucks again opened two more stores at Schiphol Airport but were before the customs, so that customers would not have to buy an airplane ticket to taste the Starbucks coffee.

Starbucks’ expansion in Europe has been successful in Spain, Switzerland, and

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