The brand is just really, really smart
Although they do have precedent for failing at other international expansions (mainly Australia), Starbucks isn't going into this lightly. The NYTimes reported that CEO Howard Schultz first stepped into an Italian coffee shop in 1983, meaning this idea has been percolating for roughly 33 years and will be executed "with great humility." That's probably just code for too slow to fail, but who knows, maybe they just plan to teach their baristas to spell people's names correctly.
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Dan Gentile is a staff writer at Thrillist. He once spent 18 hours in a Starbucks and lived to tell the tale. Follow him Pikes Place flashbacks at @Dannosphere.