Autogrill and Starbucks will extend their partnership to develop new business in Europe. They initally started their co-operation in the United States in 1991, and now Autogrill will start operating Starbucks stores at its select points of sale in France this year.

The first stores will be located in Paris, in high-speed railway stations, a channel of strategic importance. Later this year, two stores will open in Marseille Airport in Halls 1 and 4. In the Netherlands, in the coming months, Autogrill will also introduce the Starbucks brand on motorways with the first openings in AC sites in De Meern and Meerkerk.

Autogrill currently operates around 370 Starbucks (352 in North America and 15 in Europe) with operations that generated revenues of more than US$450 million (over €340 million) in 2010.

Through this extended collaboration, Autogrill intends to offer its European customers the experience and quality of products and service from the premier roaster and retailer of speciality coffee in the world. Starbucks confirms its intention to continue its international expansion in the increasingly important travel channel with the support of its long term partner Autogrill.

“Following the exclusive agreement that Autogrill and Starbucks entered into at the beginning of the year in North America, this is an important step enabling the two groups to extend their strategic collaboration in Europe too and continue to explore new business opportunities together.” said Autogrill CEO Gianmario Tondato Da Ruos.

“We are proud to announce the extension of our partnership with Autogrill into the strategic markets of France and The Netherlands, this move illustrates our commitment to growing our business with valued licensed partners who have a long track record of proven experience and demonstrated success.” said Michelle Gass, president, Starbucks Europe, Middle East and Africa.

In Europe, Autogrill has developed Starbucks operations at Amsterdam, Copenhagen and Dublin airports through its American subsidiary HMSHost. Autogrill also operates other Starbucks stores across Belgium, in Brussels airport and central railway station, in Antwerp railway station and in the recently opened store in the city centre of Ghent.

Last year the two companies extended their exclusivity agreement in the United States to operate in airports and on highways until 2020. The agreement provides for the opening of 120 new stores in the U.S. and Canada over the next ten years.