South-Western - Management  
Amsterdam's Key Role in Starbucks' Global Strategy
Topic Strategy
InfoTrac Reference A94768811
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Key Words global, straetgy
News Story

Mark McKeon, president of Starbucks Coffee Company for Europe, Middle East and Africa, feels that Amsterdam's strategic location in continental Europe makes it an ideal home for the roasting plant, because it fits with Starbucks strategy of supplying hundreds of new and existing Starbucks stores in the region with fresh-roasted coffee.

The port has some value-added attributes:
1. Because it is small and self-contained, Starbucks can expect to receive priority treatment.
2. The port facilities suit the demands of the product.
3. More than 200 EU head offices are located in Amsterdam.
4. As a logistics center for Europe, the port represents the door to Germany, Belgium, France and Great Britain.

The Amsterdam port will also benefit from the association with Starbucks, which is considered a high status company. It will create substantial employment in the area, and give the port added status for attracting Starbucks.

The facility will cover 94,000 square feet, and will house equipment and operations to receive, roast, package, and ship Starbucks coffee to retail stores in current and emerging markets. Starbucks' U.S. roasting plants are in Kent, Washington, and York, Pennsylvania, and a third roasting plant will open in Douglas County, Nevada in spring 2003.

Questions
1.

Is Starbucks' decision to locate a roasting plant in Amsterdam a corporate-level, industry-level, or firm-level strategy? Explain your answer.

2.

Define distinctive competence. How does this strategy demonstrate Starbucks' distinctive competence in Europe?

Source "Amsterdam's Key Role in Starbucks' Global Strategy,"World Trade, Dec. 2002, p. 40.
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