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Starbucks’s Owner Al-shaya Denies Departure From Morocco, Cites ‘reorganisation’

The franchise in charge of Starbucks stores in Morocco has denied the reports of the chain coffeeshops’ departure from the North African state, citing “reorganisation of business.”

“We are committed to our activities in Morocco,” a spokesperson from the Al-Shaya franchise in Morocco told state news agency SNRT over the weekend.

The company’s spokesperson has confirmed the continuation of the operation of all 18 Starbucks coffee stores in Morocco, with some future changes on other stores.

“We are making some changes at the level of our (H&M) stores as part of our efforts to achieve this,” added the spokesperson, speaking of the H&M clothing stores, another brand the company franchises.

According to Maroc Hebdo, the franchise’s stores in the North African kingdom have been struggling since the pandemic, leading the group to decrease its capital in Morocco from 142 million dirhams (US$ 15 million) to 65 million dirhams (US$ 7 million) in December 2022.

Al-Shaya’s sponsored stores, such as Pinkberry, Mothercare, Next and Payless, had previously left the Moroccan market due to poor performance.

The Kuwaiti giant franchise Al-Shaya did not comment on the alleged financial struggles they have been facing in the North African country since the pandemic, reportedly accentuated by the nationwide boycott campaign against pro-Israel businesses.

Since its launch in Morocco late in 2011, Starbucks’s US concept of big cups and syrups has clashed with the Moroccan coffee culture, limiting its customers to a selection of young people, those who can pay US$4 for a coffee in a country where the minimum wage is US$300.

However, since 7 October, many young people in Morocco have started actively boycotting their all-time favourites, including Mcdonald’s, Burger King and Starbucks, over their pro-Israel stances.

While companies like McDonald’s Morocco have distanced themselves from other countries’ stores’ positions about Israel’s war on Gaza, Starbucks Morocco chose silence.

The New Arab contacted Starbucks Morocco for clarification about the pro-Israel accusations, but they did not respond by the time of publication.

Source: The New Arab