Starbucks go home: plans for new Paris location spark uproar

The coffee juggernaut plans to open a café in Montmartre, to the dismay of locals


Keith Dannemiller/Corbis

Earlier this month, Starbucks announced plans to open a café on the old stomping grounds of Ernest Hemingway and Pablo Picasso in the storied Parisian neighbourhood of Montmartre. In response, the association Paris Fierté (Paris Pride) is circulating a petition and planning to protest its arrival. “Opinion,” the association says, “oscillates between anger and fatalism.”

Paris Fierté spokesperson Pierre Brabant warns that Starbucks’ attempt to breach Montmartre could be “the drop of coffee that makes the vase overflow.” The global giant opened its first French branch in 2004. But there are just 81 Starbucks in France, compared with more than 1,000 in Canada, and France’s Starbucks have yet to turn a profit.

In response, Starbucks has changed tactics—offering croque monsieur and pain perdu alongside its blueberry-studded jumbo muffins.

Laurent Pauzié, a young engineer in Paris, believes the Starbucks outlets “are only here to comfort tourists when they’re lost.” Kate Menzies, a Canadian living in Paris, is more accommodating. Starbucks, she says, “is one of the few places with public toilets and free WiFi in the city.”


Starbucks go home: plans for new Paris location spark uproar

  1. “Starbucks, she says, “is one of the few places with public toilets and free WiFi in the city.””

    And quite possibly waiters that do not treat you like a hunk of doggy doo on the sidewalk!

  2. This is a typical issue one can find anywhere in the world. I know that the
    feeling of the Arabic people upon declaring the state of Israel in 1948 in the
    Middle of Arabia was worse than what French people in the neighborhood of
    Montmartre in Paris currently feel. Also I know that it may be called to be Too
    Much of a Phantasy and that there is no analogy whatsoever. Well, really let’s
    face it. Starbucks is an American Style chain coffee like MacDonald’s or
    Kentucky Fried Chicken with the difference that the management of Starbucks
    publically admit that they donate $1 (one Dollar) out every five Dollars earned
    by the company to the State of Israel!!! (Yes that is true). MacDonald’s have a
    better way of donations through the Ronald MacDonald foundation and KFC do
    really invest their money in total locally. Anyways, and however, the Cultural
    Aspect is an issue here where Starbucks Serving-the-Mass anonymity culture is
    in contradiction with the Local, people-know-each-other culture. Just some food
    for thought!

  3. The article confirms that Canadian Kate likes Starbucks in Paris! but again, she is Canadian and not Parisian!!! that is exactly the difference. She is not here after 10 years but the Parisians are, and their social structure and values in the neighbourhood are either damaged or massively insured!!!!

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