Starbucks is a major U.S coffeehouse chain, opening its first store in Seattle in 1971. As of September 2016 the brand operates 25,085 stores worldwide, ranking it as the biggest coffee house chain in the world. Following a rapid expansion into international markets, the number of stores outside of the United States came to 11,913 in 2016. In the region of Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA), revenues reached over 1 billion U.S. dollars in 2014.
In Europe, Starbucks’ main competitors are the British coffee chain Costa Coffee and McDonald’s McCafé brand, both of which recorded higher outlet numbers across Europe in 2015. In Germany the number of McCafé coffee shops far outweighs the number of Starbucks stores. In the UK Costa coffee stores also outnumber Starbucks stores, however to a lesser extent. The number of licensed Starbucks stores in the UK has rapidly increased since 2010, while company-operated stores have fallen.