At its home base in Seattle on July 31, 2018, Starbucks opened the first American outpost of Princi, an Italian mini-chain with locations in Milan and London. Starbucks plans to open 1,000 bakeries under the Princi banner.
After acquiring Milan-based Princi, Starbucks turned to its hometown to launch its first standalone Princi bakery. The multinational coffee chain opened its first US Princi location on July 31, 2018. Princi was established in 1986 by famed Italian baker Rocco Princi, with Starbucks becoming an investor and global licensee in 2016. The store specializes in breads and pastries made in-store, as well as sandwiches and pizzas. The Italian-style bakery offers signature mixed drinks and coffee along with their baked goods and lunch options.
The Seattle Times reports that Starbucks plans on opening 1,000 bakeries under the Princi banner. After Seattle, the next two cities to see Starbucks-Princi openings are Chicago and New York City later this fall. The move represents Starbucks’ attempts to go more upscale as it seeks out new business amid a U.S. sales slump, the Fortune reports. “The company saw traffic decline in the most recent quarter, even as same store sales grew 1%, in part due to a price hike. Starbucks has lowered its sales expectations for the year and has said it will shut down underperforming locations”. Starbucks is attempting to develop a new engine of growth with its brand-within-a-brand strategy, as well as to combat higher-end third-wave coffee chains like Blue Bottle and Stumptown