Starbucks Commitment to the UK

Following a number of stories in the media over the last day about Starbucks and the amount of tax we pay each year, I believe it’s important that we share the facts with you on this important issue. 

The most important thing to understand is that Starbucks does pay tax in the UK. Indeed over the last three years we have paid over £160 million in various taxes including National Insurance contribution for our 8,500 UK employees, and business rates. 

The truth of the matter is, the one tax that has been debated in the media, corporation tax, is based on the profits we make in this country – and regrettably we are not yet as profitable as we’d like to be. Is our ambition to be much more profitable, and therefore pay more corporation tax? Absolutely right, and that is why we are making long-term investments in the UK, creating new jobs, opening new stores and delivering new and innovative products for our customers.   

The UK represents a very important market for us and I want to be really clear about what contribution we make to the country. Yes, we pay our taxes, but we are here to invest and grow the business. We have raised capital to invest in 5,000 new jobs and open 300 new stores up and down the country. We are also creating 1,000 apprenticeship positions. We contribute to Britain by buying local products such as cakes, milk, sandwiches and using local suppliers to do things like store design and renovation.  I am confident these kinds of investments will make us more profitable in the future, and as a result, the corporation tax we pay will increase. 

I also wanted to clear up some misapprehensions about a few aspects of our business that have impacted our financial performance: how we source and roast our coffee beans, the royalty we pay to use the Starbucks brand in the UK and the competitive nature of selling coffee in the UK. 

Let me start with the beans. To achieve economies of scale for the region we have a buying operation in Switzerland and a shared roasting plant in Amsterdam – it doesn’t make good business sense for wholesale bean buying or roasting to happen in each country. So for the UK we buy and roast our coffee in Europe, the same as other Starbucks businesses in the region.

In terms of the fees we pay to use the Starbucks brand, we pay a royalty levied against our revenues to use the brand in the UK. This is applied wherever we operate in the world at a consistent rate, as is the case for many other global brands. 

Finally, the UK is one of the most competitive places to sell coffee in the world and this has had a real impact on the profits we make and therefore the corporation tax we generate. There are three reasons for this. The rent we pay on our stores here in the UK is among the highest in the world. We spend more on the quality of our coffee than our competitors – offering 100% Arabica and 100% Fairtrade espresso coffees. We also spend more on store design so the customer experience is as good is it could possibly be. We have heard that these investments in quality are important to our customers and they are certainly important to us – and well worth the investment. We haven’t always got it right in the past but all of these initiatives, and our focus on making sure we give British customers what they want and need, have put us on a track for growth.

I want to say that this is a really important issue to me and to Starbucks.  The UK is one of the most dynamic espresso markets in the world, and we’re proud to do business and pay taxes here.  As we continue to grow, we will employ more and more partners and contribute to the communities where we do business in new and meaningful ways.   

Thank you for listening and I look forward to reading your comments and suggestions. 

 

Kris Engskov

Managing director

Starbucks Coffee UK

comments (163)

Comment FAQ

    • antio82
    • 17/10/2012 11:14

    In 2007 your COO told analysts that the UK unit's profits were funding Starbucks' expansion overseas. Your CFO added that the UK enjoyed operating profit margins of almost 15% - nearly £50m in profit.
    A year later, after filing a £26m loss in the UK, your CEO, told investors the business here was so successful he planned to apply the lessons in the US. Your CFO called the UK business "profitable" in 2009 after accounts revealed a record £52m loss.
    Not only you evade taxes, you are a liar too.

      • terryos
      • 18/10/2012 10:52

      In reply to: antio82

      How can Starbucks tell Companies House and HMRC that its UK business is loss-making but tell analysts in SEC-regulated calls that the UK business is profit-making, without either making misleading financial statements or filing false accounts? I can't wait to hear Troy Alstead explain that to Margaret Hodge.

        • catcatcatcatcat
        • 13/11/2012 12:05

        In reply to: terryos

        I have created an e-petition which will hopefully go live in a couple of days. I used your words because you seem to know what you're talking about. You're pointing to fraud effectively, securities or accounting!

        • catcatcatcatcat
        • 14/11/2012 05:42

        In reply to: catcatcatcatcat

        There is already an e-petition about this issue but it expires in about 2 months. I'll make a new one then!

      • ratcatcheruk
      • 12/11/2012 06:10

      In reply to: antio82

      I am writing to my MP too and to the Director of the Serious Fraud Office concerning this utterly cynical treatment by Starbucks of UK authorities. I am totally aghast at PAYE and NI charges being cited as corporate profits taxes by Starbucks's muppet UK management. This behaviour would not be tolerated in the US so why does Starbucks insult each and every one of us here in the UK by lying ? I hope that Starbucks ends up facing British justice for the tax dodging fraudsters they apparently are

      • DecEight
      • 13/11/2012 07:52

      In reply to: antio82

      No matter how much you protest - you know that we know that you are ripping off the british people - time to pay up or go home

      • DecEight
      • 13/11/2012 07:54

      In reply to: antio82

      Your claims are bogus - as are your postings to defend the undefensible on this blog

      • Malcymoo
      • 13/11/2012 15:52

      In reply to: antio82

      Until you pay your taxes (including all the backdated stuff), I will not darken my milk with your coffee...

      • sanamo86
      • 15/11/2012 10:08

      In reply to: antio82

      Pay up or get out
      I assure you, neither you or your overpriced frappucinnos will be missed

    • Simongoodley72
    • 17/10/2012 11:32

    Kris - how exactly can you claim that PAYE is a tax on Starbucks? Come on. It is a tax on your employees, surely?

    • Simongoodley72
    • 17/10/2012 11:40

    And why has the post now been changed to exclude the reference to PAYE?

    • Simongoodley72
    • 17/10/2012 11:41

    Your first thoughts were: "The most important thing to understand is that Starbucks does pay tax in the UK. Indeed over the last three years we have paid over £160 million in various taxes including Pay As You Earn (PAYE) for our 8,500 UK employees, national insurance and business rates”.

    • antio82
    • 17/10/2012 12:00

    Amazing!! You actually changed your statement after you realised that PAYE is tax YOUR EMPLOYEES pay out of THEIR salary, and not tax YOU pay!

    That says HEAPS about how you approach this subject.

    Thanks for spotting it Simongoodley72. I guess Starbucks lawyers aren't as quick...

    • terryos
    • 17/10/2012 12:27

    Royalties are payments made for using intellectual property that is not owned.

    Starbucks Corporation owns the Starbucks brand. Starbucks Corporation owns Starbucks UK. Starbucks has been paying itself 6% turnover to use something it already owns. What was going to happen if Starbucks UK didn't pay - Starbucks was going to sue itself? Absolutely ridiculous and laughable.

    • terryos
    • 17/10/2012 12:31

    I've written to my MP asking for Parliament and the Revenue to investigate what looks like tax evasion to me - pretending to pay royalties for something already owned in order to pay no corporation tax for a decade. I'm going to run down the balance on my Starbucks card and then I'll never enter your stores again. Ethical business? You must be joking.

    • PirateTimelord
    • 17/10/2012 12:39

    You say you are committed to opening around 300 new stores? How then do you explain the closure of so many stores in recent weeks/ coming weeks? I can't claim I know much about it, but given comments around these closures on your social media pages, the sites were regularly busy, and thus I'd expect were profitable. Surely it would therefore be more cost effective to have kept these stores open, rather than closing them, and subsequently having to locate premises and open new stores?

    • max_fm
    • 17/10/2012 13:17

    I'm really disappointed in reading about how you as a company have evaded paying your fair share of tax by setting up in Swizerland. For years I've been a loyal customer, buying into the 'fairtrade' sales pitches, appreciating the little hand drawn smiley faces on my paper cup...
    ... but no more. I'm gone - you greedy bastards don't deserve my money.

    • andywall10
    • 17/10/2012 13:37

    Simongoodley72 - You're a star! Well spotted!

    • tax-man
    • 17/10/2012 21:17

    Wow, Starbucks pays national insurance. Yawwwwwn. So do all uk companies.

    There is a big difference between mere tax savings for genuine legitimate reasons and the continual non payment of any corporation tax whatsoever by abusing the tax system.

    I want to see all corporations operating in the uk paying proportionate rates of tax and contributing their true fair share to the uk economy.

    Come on George Osborne, sort out these tax free operations.

    • tax-man
    • 17/10/2012 21:21


    BTW, I too will not be using Starbucks or any ot the other large US corporations adopting dodgy tax abusing policies. We're all in this together. Yeah, sure we are.

    • tax-man
    • 17/10/2012 21:29

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-19967397

    • shadowmatt
    • 18/10/2012 02:27

    One question about your great tax dodge.

    Do any of your staff receive government benefits like Working Tax credits of Housing Benefits?

    I would assume at least some of them do with Starbucks pay rates, especially in London. That would mean, as you are fiddling you books to make it look like you are taking a loss, that the public are paying to top up the wages of your staff.

    IE Im paying tax through my wages which is then used to subsided the poor wages that Starbucks pays its staff.

    • shadowmatt
    • 18/10/2012 02:31

    Also Kris, as the Managing director of a failing company, one that consistently posts a loss are you not considering resigning. There is no point rewarding failure.

    Do you have a business plan for when people can no longer afford your coffee, or if / when power stations cannot meet capacity and we start having blackouts. What happens when your staff are taken ill. Do you use our roads, ports, police and other services in the running of your company. All these examples are funded by Tax.

    • cookstar1974
    • 18/10/2012 02:34

    Dear Mr Engskov,

    Why are you looking to open more stores when your accounts show tens of millions of pounds of losses each and every year?
    Why do you tell investors that the UK business is profitable yet show losses in your UK accounts? Which is true?
    Who audits your accounts?
    You state you will pay tax 'to the letter of the law' and also state you have 'the highest ethical standards' - do you agree that your lack of tax contribution to the UK shows the lowest ethical standards?


    • shadowmatt
    • 18/10/2012 02:34

    Kris, if you want to make a lot of money in low tax countries where government expenditure is kept to a minimum have you not considered moving to a country like Sudan or the Congo?

    In these places little or no tax is collected and as a result your profits won't be wasted on such things like police, infrastructure or competent government. You would be free to make as much money as possible in a less controlling environment than we are obviously forcing you to operate in now.

    • shadowmatt
    • 18/10/2012 02:41

    One final point. I hope you realise you are attacking your customers with your aggressive tax avoidance. Funnelling money out of the UK by declaring loses when you are very profitable is damaging to our economy and is a factor in why we are currently struggling.

    It would be nice if you saw your tax payments as an investment in the UK and that a strong UK would probably lead to higher profits in the long term.

    • shadowmatt
    • 18/10/2012 02:49

    Have you considered what would happen if there was a fire in one of your London stores now we are having to close 1/4 of the fire stations in London with the loss of hundreds of jobs?

    I bet if the Fire Service didn't turn up or were late you would be all over TV criticising them and demanding better service. Yet it is you who refuses to pay TAX for services like these.

    Have any of your stores been damaged in riots or protests? There is going to be a lot less police in the future.

    • GoogiesFolkestone
    • 18/10/2012 05:09

    I am an independent coffee shop owner based in Folkestone (Googies), . I find it disgusting that you syphon millions of UK taxes out of the UK. We have a campaign running in Folkestone which has currently over 4000 "Likes" and a "1000 "share" all over the UK. PAY YOUR TAXES AS WE DO
    https://www.facebook.com/photo.php fbid=10151253713480944&set=a.275916405943.187845.174461280943&type=1&theater&notif_t=photo_comment

    • GoogiesFolkestone
    • 18/10/2012 05:11

    THIS LINK SHOULD WORK

    http://tinyurl.com/cbp9x9j

    • Ieopold
    • 18/10/2012 06:59

    I am deeply disappointed about the whole affair and feel I have been misled by promises on the one hand (ethical sourcing) and disingenuous behaviour towards our very own society on the other.

    What is even more frustrating is that it seems (current) Starbucks UK management still think they have a defendable position in this all.

    The only solution is: Admit, Quit & Turn it around.

    My hope is Starbucks Global Management will make clean ship as soon as possible.

    • JuneThorpe
    • 18/10/2012 11:21

    Starbucks, Google and Facebook

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rncDkWvTu7g

    • JuneThorpe
    • 18/10/2012 11:23

    Speaking to CNBC in February 2009 about his concerns over the global economic crisis, Schultz said that "the place that concerns us the most is western Europe, and specifically the UK", which he considered to be in a "spiral", expressing concern with the levels of unemployment and consumer confidence in the country.

    • JuneThorpe
    • 18/10/2012 11:26

    The Starbucks CEO is concerned about the economy, unemployment and the general direction of the country.

    America that is!

    • cooperphil
    • 18/10/2012 11:45

    Kris, I'm sorry to have to tell you this, but nobody is being taken in by your woolly attempts at justifying your company's aggressive tax-avoidance. You're talking like a politician trying to media-manage a scandal. It discredits you and insults us.

    It's simple: Starbucks must pay the appropriate amount of UK corporation tax - not the amount it can get away with, but the appropriate amount - or I won't buy your coffee again and nor will thousands of others. There are plenty of other options.

    • Dismayed
    • 18/10/2012 16:33

    I never realised you were crooks, I'm so disappointed in your company.

    Fortunately your competitors are happy to take my money, and pay tax on it.

    • JPrice1234
    • 18/10/2012 22:44

    Don't just have a moan here.
    STOP BUYING THEIR COFFEE UNTIL THEY COUGH UP AND PAY TAX!

    • SailorJery1
    • 19/10/2012 03:32

    Use a local coffee shop where they know how to make really fantastic coffee for less money, with better service; where they are primarily interested in your enjoyment of what they do, above all else. I've recently been converted to a local coffee shop - small, comfy sofas, good wifi, very helpful staff, dog-friendly. The best coffee I've ever had. Come on Starbucks, play fair, stop avoiding taxes and raise your game to meet what you claim. Do the right thing.

    • stuartjphillips
    • 19/10/2012 04:01

    Stop Lying Kris.

    You're tax dodging and stealing money from my pocket and those of the other tax payers in the UK who are paying more to reduce our budget deficit. Your tax dodging is stealing money from those whose benefits are cut to reduce the deficit. I have been a loyal Starbucks customer, but in the current environment i cannot morally give my custom to a company so bereft of social conscience.

    Stuart

      • cmark4e
      • 14/11/2012 04:08

      In reply to: stuartjphillips

      Starbucks are now damaged goods and no amount of feeble excuses will change that. I have not bought a Starbucks since "tax-gate" and probably will not again. I'm hoping that they are punished financially to at least the tune of the avoided tax (not) paid to date!

      For me its now Costa or Nero's all the way.

      Congratulations Starbucks.

    • james_t
    • 19/10/2012 04:50

    So to be clear - while you have removed the direct reference to it, the £160million of tax quoted in your blog still includes PAYE? A tax on your employees NOT on Starbucks. Perhaps you would like to consider revising this figure to give a more accurate reflection of your tax affairs?

    • russell_c
    • 19/10/2012 13:28

    Laughable. Ethical my ar*e. Created account to advise I'll be going elsewhere in future.

    • Spw268
    • 19/10/2012 14:23

    The statement is just PR waffle. The deliberately vague "various taxes", which could be PAYE, NI contributions, VAT etc - not corporation tax which is what we want to know, how much tax is Starbucks paying on their income/ profit ? And then the evasive "not yet as profitable as we'd like to be" - which dodges the question: are you making profits or not ? So the MD decides to dig an even deeper hole - goodbye reputation and goodbye customers...

    • prs001
    • 19/10/2012 14:36

    Heard about this despicable situation, and thought I'd lend my voice of support from over here in the US.

    I will be boycotting Starbucks, and telling everyone I know to do so as well.

    This is yet another company thinking that being ethical is about putting a logo on packaging. Over here we are tired of all the big corporations thinking they can do whatever the hell they like just because they employ people. Job creators! But if Starbucks went bankrupt, a 1000 others could take their place

    • 1coffeequaffer
    • 20/10/2012 01:09

    Starbucks PR release is both spurious and devious.
    It would be far better for UK inc. if we all took our coffee in cafe's that did not pay out huge royalties and use overseas suppliers to drain out all of the profits from the UK into lower tax countries. The employment taxes and VAT generated would be the same with a fair level of corporation tax on top.
    Boycott Starbucks until they play fair.
    I expect they won't unless the HMRC makes them - come on HMRC you need to tackle these corporations.

    • mgpb1936
    • 20/10/2012 01:11

    Dear Kris, regarding your purchasing operation in Switzerland for raw coffee beans. Is this yet another transfer pricing dodge? I understand that raw beans are shipped into warehouses in Holland and not Switzerland.
    If this is not transfer pricing what is the rationale behind this?
    I had beleived Starbucks to be an ethical and decent company....is this just window dressing?


    • MGPB1936
    • 20/10/2012 02:59

    Dear Kris,
    Since my last post I have Googled 'Starbucks' and found other disturbing other very disturbing reports on your company;
    - Paying part time staff in the USA just under the qualifying 20 hours so that receive health benefits...is this true?
    -Starbucks took a small coffee roaster to court for offering a product named 'Charbucks' and Starbucks lost the case? link https://blackbearcoffee.com/Starbucks/What%27s_it_all_about.htm
    Is this Ethical or Local?

    • Alex-AT
    • 20/10/2012 03:08

    It appears that the £160M various taxes includes £87M in VAT, which I assume is the tax that you take from your customers upfront on anything you sell in the UK.

    • Rob1423
    • 23/10/2012 07:28

    I am disgusted that Starbucks has only paid £8m tax on £3bn worth of sales since 1998. My wife and have been loyal customers for over 10 years but we will never enter a Starbucks again until you start to pay your fair share.

    • thewritingninja
    • 23/10/2012 08:50

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rDqatJPvOfk

    • enyxraj1
    • 24/10/2012 04:24

    I think you people need to understand a few basic points:

    (1) Starbucks is a high volume, low margin sales business so you can't talk the amount of CT it pays in the context of 3 billion revenues. Instead, you need to consider the profits (only a very small % of sales revenue).

    (2) Starbucks is avoiding tax by paying a royalty to the US, really?? They are saving tax at 23% in the UK, but paying tax on income in the US at 40% +.

      • starfucksup
      • 12/11/2012 09:03

      In reply to: enyxraj1

      @enyxraj1 - Wouldn't the profits "remitted" to the USstill be taxed at 40% in the US, the UK tax paid being offset against this amount, so provided UK corporation tax is below 40% the company should be indifferent to where the profits are made.......exept the US tax office benefits instead of the UK

      • karlosfargis
      • 13/11/2012 02:18

      In reply to: enyxraj1

      Profits made outside the USA are only taxed if sent back there. Over $1.5 trillion in profits from all US companies are kept overseas. So no tax is paid in the USA either.

      The royalties were subject to a combined tax rate in the Netherlands and the US of approximately 16% - from Starbucks themselves.

      • dr_mimm
      • 13/11/2012 02:28

      In reply to: enyxraj1

      Re: (2) According to Troy Alstead, Starbucks' chief financial officer, royalities paid to the Netherlands were subject to a combined tax rate in the Netherlands and the US of approximately 16%. The UK's main corporation tax rate is 24%.

      The royalty rate was 6% of sales, but has since been reduced. But there are other ways they're keeping the money out of the UK (and thus away from UK taxes) too.

      See http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-20288077

      • Iman1337
      • 13/11/2012 03:17

      In reply to: enyxraj1

      Re: (1) Starbucks is a high volume, low margin sales business

      Low margin? Good one. I needed a laugh.

      • Capcom1969
      • 27/11/2012 15:31

      In reply to: enyxraj1

      Starbucks has low marginal costs but high fixed costs. Therefore its level of profit depends where it is relative to its breakeven position.

      Given the occupancy levels in my local outlets before this disclosure, I'd say they were operating well above breakeven and with considerable profits. Nowadays thinks are definitely quieter so their profits are bound to fall in an exaggerated manner.

      I'll only go back once they stop using tax driven transfer pricing.

    • enyxraj1
    • 24/10/2012 04:24

    (3) Other low tax jurisdictions? Netherlands CT rate is between 20-25%, Switzerland up to 22% (because the various Swiss Cantons also levy tax on companies in addition to the federal CT). The UK rate is 23% for FY13, reducing to 22% in FY14! Understand the context because spouting nonsense.

      • wr0ng1
      • 13/11/2012 09:37

      In reply to: enyxraj1

      @Enyxraj1 - except that the coffee industry gets a negotiated tax rate in Switzerland and a special tax rate, which it is under obligation to keep confidential from the Netherlands. Others aren't spouting nonsense just because you don't have the supporting information!

    • Hazellfam
    • 25/10/2012 06:44

    For me it is simple. Pay your taxes and I will start paying for your coffee again. But until then I will look elsewhere for my favourite drink (and there are plenty of alternative coffee shops out there - both brand and independent)

    • starfucksup
    • 12/11/2012 09:11

    Clearly this distorts competition, where local domestic coffee shops have to pay tax on their profits they will be at a disadvantage to those that can strip profit out and pay a lower tax rate. PAYE, VAT and Rates are paid by all businesses.............unless Starbucks have found a rates wheeze too?

    After5 years of regular morning and evening coffee from Starbucks, my coffee buying has shifted to Nero's, difficult to see anything that will change it back and it is no futher to walk!

    • NotGonzo
    • 12/11/2012 23:27

    Blah blah lie. Blah blah NATIONAL FRIKKIN INSURANCE??? (after you deleted PAYE). Blah blah excuses and lies. Your coffee tastes like mud. Everything you sell is overpriced. Your 'brand' is worthless and everyone wishes you'd just pay what you owe then disappear into nothing. Stop lying and trying to get out of it, pay your bloody taxes and eff off.

    • Jayarava
    • 13/11/2012 00:01

    Like most others I think this message is self-serving and disingenuous. Through an cunning accounting procedure Starbucks, which is a profitable business, avoids paying tax on those profits - thereby depriving the government of much needed revenue. I will be boycotting Starbucks indefinitely.

    • Petlorenzo
    • 13/11/2012 01:25

    The only kudos you will get from me is allowing this to be open to comments. Beyond that everything about it stinks. This statement/ clarification is a joke. It is very clear that you have been dishonest in your dealings and totally unethical. For a company that bangs on about ethics that is unforgiveable as it smacks of total duplicity. To claim VAT, NI & PAYE as tax revenue is frankly ludicrous. To claim losses is ridiculous.Your policy in the UK was aggressive & detrimental from the outset. 2/

    • craiglegrice
    • 13/11/2012 01:25

    Actually, this is a good response from Starbucks.

    There are three issues here:

    1. Starbucks is not yet really profitable in the UK.
    2. Corporation tax is paid on profit, not revenue, which is how journalists are reporting this. Whether this is through ignorance or a desire to 'stoke the fire', it's bad journalism.
    3. Companies, including Starbucks, use legal and lawful ways to reduce their tax liability. I would and so would you. For legislation, blame the politicians.

    Craig Le Grice

      • Petlorenzo
      • 13/11/2012 02:04

      In reply to: craiglegrice

      They are issues so let's consider them:
      1. We do not know if they are profitable or not. The accountancy is designed to baffle they claim no profitability on the one hand but to investors claim profitability.
      2. Yes the clarification is justified but not all journos are misleading. The issue comes back to honesty over profit or loss. Starbucks made it worse by justifying tax position by including business rates, NI etc.
      3. Whilst lawful the increasing opaque structures are immoral & unethical

      • karlosfargis
      • 13/11/2012 02:22

      In reply to: craiglegrice

      Journalists are not reporting it as a tax on revenue. They are reporting correctly.

      The simple truth is that Starbucks are using royalty payments to themselves as a way to reduce profit to zero so as to avoid paying tax.

      It's a duty to pay tax, for the things that it provides the country as a whole. Otherwise we wouldn't have roads, street lighting, schools, hospitals or social services of any kind.

      As a strategist, are you being paid or have you ever been contracted by Starbucks?

      • ruse10001
      • 13/11/2012 05:06

      In reply to: craiglegrice

      So you're a WPP strategist with Starbucks as a client.

      *oh dear*

      • ruse10001
      • 13/11/2012 05:20

      In reply to: craiglegrice

      Perhaps you need to spend some time reading up on Social Media. Might help you to undertand when and how to leave a comment in favour of the client. Especially on a blog post that is simply flawed and until amended, didn't show any knowledge of who carries the burden of paying PAYE.

    • Petlorenzo
    • 13/11/2012 01:27

    2/2 You sort to corner the market literally buying out the competition creating a de facto monopoly. If that was a business model it sure is broken. Your attempts to justify your avoidance was pathetic and your statement self-serving. If companies like yours want to make money (or ok, try) then you must pay tax fairly or frankly leave. The jobs would be absorbed by more honest traders (and frankly companies serving drinkable coffee- your product really is very very bad). Go away, try again.

    • Petlorenzo
    • 13/11/2012 01:34

    just looking at this nonsense again...you are justifying your tax avoiding position by including "business rates"! Give me strength. As for your apprentice positions, 1,000 you say, out of 5,000 presumably at no wage, subsidised by govt money or lowest wage possible. This in turn raises questions - do you pay a living wage or minimum wage or above minimum wage? The issue over the claim of profitability has not been cleared up and suggests a lie to investors? Could raise problems in USA if true.

      • KatyH100
      • 13/11/2012 01:57

      In reply to: Petlorenzo

      I've defended my patronage of Starbucks to the raised eyebrows of friends and family for years. Citing the ethically sourced beans, wide availability of soya milk etc. But this is a completely unacceptable situation, for which there can be no legitimate defence. Unless, as others have already pointed out, Starbucks genuinely ARE making a loss in the UK - which seems highly unlikely given the continued growth of the chain in this market and the reports to investors of profitablilty

    • PaulThePole
    • 13/11/2012 01:51

    I hope that no one recommending a boycott of Starbucks is doing so on their iPhone or iPad ...

    • Mark-meds
    • 13/11/2012 01:52

    You are leeches. I will never use Starbucks again.

    • MinxMarple
    • 13/11/2012 01:58

    Whilst I appreciate your role in creating and maintaining jobs in the UK, and I also appreciate that you are not doing anything illegal, your decision-makers & business practices demonstrate a complete lack of morality. I know you think there's nothing wrong with all of this, that's what is so offensive. Until you take a more ethical approach, my entire family has decided not to purchase your products or be involved in your business chain. Please do better, so we can come back.

      • wr0ng1
      • 13/11/2012 09:43

      In reply to: MinxMarple

      [1/1] Starbucks (nor any other coffee provider) don't *create* jobs per se. Demand for coffee creates those jobs, Starbucks (and other coffee houses) benefit from that demand. There is a general myth that business are "job creators" whereas even a rudimentary understanding of economics shows that consumers create jobs in two ways:

        • wr0ng1
        • 13/11/2012 09:45

        In reply to: wr0ng1

        [2/2]
        (1) they buy things or want to buy things, which sets up demand
        (2) they work jobs in order to get money to buy things, which allows resources to be turned into commodities.

        Business BENEFIT from this, they aim to get out more than what they put in from this demand and workforce. If these businesses went bankrupt, their niche would be filled by another business, but it is the demand and work which *creates* jobs.

    • arkange1
    • 13/11/2012 02:02

    Do you *really* believe what you've written? Why do you find it so difficult to admit that you have a corporate policy to avoid tax and export profits? It's not illegal. Just perhaps not as ethical as your Fairtrade coffee aspires to be. But this is not just an issue of ethics and corporate responsibility, it's critically one of Competition. The independent coffee shops you help put out of business pay their corporate taxes. By avoiding tax through creative accounting you compete unfairly.

    • madric
    • 13/11/2012 02:03

    If you can't turn a profit on selling coffee for £3 a cup, you should not be in business.
    If you are deliberately declaring the profit you do make as some kind of "licence" fee paid to yourself to use the name you already own, you should be in jail.

      • StarFucksTaxTheBiscuit
      • 13/11/2012 02:10

      In reply to: madric

      LOOK- PEOPLE OF THE UK ; IT'S BLINDINGLY OBVIOUS THIS COMPANY IS SCREWING YOUR COUNTRY SO STOP BUYING THEIR COFFEE. IT'S BLOODY DIABOLICAL ANYWAY -SIMPLES!! p.s. please also stop buying sleazy Murdoch rags for the similar reasons

    • alweekes
    • 13/11/2012 02:16

    I can't add anything to the comments above but I will comment on this: -
    "it doesn’t make good business sense for wholesale bean buying or roasting to happen in each country"
    As anyone who knows anything about espresso knows, freshness of the roasted beans is paramount to the final product quality, roasting the beans as close as possible to the point of use to avoid delays between roasting and use is essential to a prefect espresso, something you know nothing about from tasting your product.

    • getfuckedstarbucks
    • 13/11/2012 02:18

    BOYCOTT STARBUCKS.

    Your coffee tastes like **** anyway.

    • idlodge
    • 13/11/2012 02:20

    Dear Starbucks,

    I really think you are missing the point entirely in trying to justifying this.

    You have found ways to squeak these accounts through using various techniques permitted by UK law over a number of years.

    However the negative impact on how your business is perceived by us, the UK people coupled with what looks like a poorly constructed corporate social responsibility is looking like it's going to bite you right on the bum bum!

    Thanks for listening,

    Ian

    • coffeeskelper
    • 13/11/2012 02:29

    What an arrogant knobber!

    I think this thread is going to have an ickle bit more activity today than of late. I'm gonna put the kettle on I think, now where are them biscuits......

    • equerry
    • 13/11/2012 02:30

    I think that you are missing the point - Starbucks are using creative accounting to avoid UK Corporation tax by remitting UK profits to Amsterdam as 'royalties' - while this might be legal it is not ethical, particularly if this gives you competitive advantage against local independents who pay tax on their profits.
    Your business is about coffee and your customers - you pursuit of profits could conflict with these core objectives.

    • karlosfargis
    • 13/11/2012 02:37

    High rental costs? How do all the other businesses on the high street get by?

    Pay various taxes? National Insurance is a tax but it is on employing people.
    Please elaborate on "various taxes."

    Royalty fee: this is nonsense and purely a way to reduce your profit. Are you a franchise and so not a part of the Starbucks corporation? If so, you should be closed down immediately and seek bankruptcy in the courts.

    Your excuses are poor. 2/10 Must try harder.

    • Cashcow666
    • 13/11/2012 02:44

    Starbuck's commitment to the UK amounts to one thing, and one thing only: corporate theft on an enormous scale.

    Stop stealing money from poor people, you greedy corporate scum.

    • Petlorenzo
    • 13/11/2012 02:54

    This is really a message to all brands / companies / businesses who want to operate in the UK. If you operate here you pay tax here on all transactions openly & transparently - otherwise quit. HSBC threatened to quit, the govt should have told them to go. Global brands leech money from communities & the country creating unfair burdens on others whilst paying millions to overseas investors, hedge funds, equity cos and so on.

    If you don't want to play fair then leave. Others would fill the gap.

    • richardcwgate
    • 13/11/2012 03:04

    Personally, I see this as a matter of social responsibility.
    You can talk long and hard about the legal framework and hide behind that for as long as you like. But Starbucks use it to do one thing only, maximise profit. That's not a bad thing in itself but social responsibility has a cost if you really want to do it. So pay the tax.

    From me, I will not be using Starbucks until they pay it.

    • ParvaPower
    • 13/11/2012 03:06

    Reading these comments, it's obvious that your claims are simply not believed. A consumer boycott is the logical response.

    • Braddox
    • 13/11/2012 03:11

    Don't worry Starbucks, your coffee tastes cack compared to the other major coffee shops anyway.

      • 5_HATS
      • 13/11/2012 03:21

      In reply to: Braddox

      Dear Kris Engskov,
      WE ARE NOT MUGS!!! Your company is massive and it is beyond belief that you do not make any profits in this country. You are siphoning off your companies profits through overseas subsidiaries so you are actively avoiding tax in this country. Whilst this is totally legal it is also totally IMORAL and you simply cannot expect to keep your customers when you are effectively shafting the country you are making so much money in. PAY YOUR BLOODY TAX
      p.s. PAYE & does NOT count!!!!

    • SanJose666
    • 13/11/2012 03:18

    Just pay up and stop wriggling - you seem to have no idea how much anger there is among the British public (your customers).
    As for trying to claim that national insurance (paid by your employees) and VAT (paid by your customers) are enough, that's just scandalous.

    • angry_barry
    • 13/11/2012 03:23

    Just adding to the chorus of people who are disgusted by your behaviour and won't be buying Starbucks again until you cough up.

    Our schools are being cut back because there's not enough money in the coffers, and you have the audacity post this?

    Look up Gerald Ratner if you'd like to see how quicky the British public can turn against a company.

    • divadwg
    • 13/11/2012 03:28

    The reason you have an operation in Switzerland is to avoid taxes.
    And the reason you pay a license fee to license your own product is to avoid taxes.

    To put it in perspective, and to answer the idea that this is somehow normal free market practice, if you tried the same thing in the US, the feds would be at your door in a heartbeat.

    • Spittingcat
    • 13/11/2012 03:29

    "buying operation in Switzerland and a shared roasting plant in Amsterdam"

    Why is the "buying operation" not in the same country as the roasting plant? Do the beans pass through Switzerland on the way to the plant? Do you have an operational reason other than "tax efficiency" for the buying to take place through a Swiss company?

    • Willneverbuyfromstarbucks
    • 13/11/2012 03:35

    The comments on this post are an infinitely better read than the article.

    I simply cannot wait until the very last Starbucks closes its doors.

    I do hope this is the beginning of the end for Starbucks. You'll certainly never get a single penny out of me.

    • ToadfishRebecchi
    • 13/11/2012 03:43

    Kris, mate. Have a sit down and have a good think because this isn't good enough. We're not stupid.

    • ToadfishRebecchi
    • 13/11/2012 03:44

    So; you've demonstrated that you really don't get it at all.
    You've failed to realise that your weaselling about paying other taxes etc makes no difference; you are now seen to be (a) at best dissembling, at worst lying, and (b) tax dodgers at a time of cuts. Choose to do the right thing or not - I suspect you may be surprised by the results on your business if you choose "not". It's about perception, and you are not perceived well at all. Perhaps you don't care. You will.

    • gar1975
    • 13/11/2012 03:51

    from the day i first heard about what taxes you avoid paying in the U.K i have stopped my daily visits to your stores & now use a local independent coffee house who actually pays tax on what they earn. i will not use a starbucks again until you do the same. shame on you!

    • creditcrunch
    • 13/11/2012 04:08

    They do think we are stupid, the only way to show we mean business is to lobby the government to act and to spend your hard earned tax-paid money elsewhere.

    • artumi-richard
    • 13/11/2012 04:51

    It seems to me that the mothership can charge what "licence fees" it like and the UK outfit has to pay that. But since, in reality the UK outfit is owned by the mothership it's all about the tax dodge. Royalty fees will be the mechanism by which Starbucks gets to decide where the profit goes.

    I imagine those royalty fees are never the same from one year to the next. I imagine they are also decided retrospectively near the end of a tax year. If that was done each year it would be "consistent"

    • toplard
    • 13/11/2012 04:54

    I'll turn the UK into the worlds biggest tax haven.

    http://gco2e.blogspot.co.uk/2012/11/i-will-turn-croydon-into-uks-biggest.html

    Yours,
    Robin Smith

    • PAY-YOUR-TAX
    • 13/11/2012 05:13

    Shameless attempts by starbucks to spin their way out of this mess. You have avoided paying your tax, this has an impact on our communities as there is less money in the public purse, stop making excuses, pay your tax.

    • chirpycockney
    • 13/11/2012 06:13

    Three libraries under threat of closure here in Southport. Pay your tax

    • tjsw12
    • 13/11/2012 06:17

    There seems to be a world of difference between the message you are giving out currently (poor us we are not v profitable) & which you give to investors (look at us-we're doing just fine).We are not mugs -in the UK we expect companies to pay a fair share of taxation - most do. To mask your profits using cross charges to other territories may be legal but it's immoral. I will not use Starbucks again until you change your ways. A small gesture of around £400 revenue. I hope many others follow suit

    • EdgarJW
    • 13/11/2012 06:28

    If Starbucks "spend[s] more on store design so the customer experience is as good is it could possibly be," why are your stores so unpleasant?
    The decor has been that same molded wood-effect veneer and dusty
    sofa combination forever. I can't remember going to one that's not been filthy.. The food you serve is bland and largely unhealthy. The same can be said for the drinks. The staff - 'partners' as they're called, absurdly and misleadingly on another one of these damage-limitation missives...

    • EdgarJW
    • 13/11/2012 06:33

    ... often seem exhausted. Sorry to focus on the subjective, fringe issues - the fact they constitute the front line of your business notwithstanding - but I feel the objective, pernicious corporate structure money stuff has kind of been covered in enough in these comments. Oh and spare us that 'the red cups are coming!' marketing ritual, it's wearing very thin and starting to sound like some kind of creepy death knell.

    • Youdontpayyourtaxes
    • 13/11/2012 06:44

    I'm never buying your product again, and will tell everybody I come across
    to boycott your business.

    I'd consider slapping it out of mindless hipsters hands as well.

    Corporate vampires, you are beneath contempt.

    • Taxpayer1968
    • 13/11/2012 06:47

    I'd sack that board of yours if I were you. To be incapable of turning a profit in 15 years of trading, in a market that consumes as much coffee as this one, smacks of very unimaginative and poor leadership.

    • kdombaz
    • 13/11/2012 06:59

    Well I just became a member just to say "no I will not be buying a thing from your businesses and will actively encourage people to make more informed choices and avoid your businesses".

    • Youstolefromme
    • 13/11/2012 07:51

    Why should I support a company that effectively steals from me and my children? You are despicable and hide it behind corporate memo-speak.

    • skoojala
    • 13/11/2012 08:09

    When we all have to pay our taxes in full and so many vital services that people depend on such as day centres and care services are forced to close, isn't it 'immoral' to act to shift UK-based profit offshore to escape high tax bills? I won't buy your immoral coffee and I urge others to do likewise until you do the decent thing.

    • hovisceral
    • 13/11/2012 08:37

    May as well use the words of kdombaz since they sum up exactly how i feel.

    Well I just became a member just to say "no I will not be buying a thing from your businesses and will actively encourage people to make more informed choices and avoid your businesses".

    Stop telling lies and pay your **** taxes like everyone else. This idea that you're not profitable in the UK is a total joke.

    Man up, Starbucks and take responsibility for yourselves.

    • Taxcriminal1
    • 13/11/2012 09:26

    You are tax-dodging criminals. Boycotted.

    • whazell
    • 13/11/2012 09:29

    I will not shop at Starbucks until you alter your tax structures and pay your fair share.

    • nerobrown
    • 13/11/2012 10:05

    SCUM,SCUM,SCUM,SCUM,PAY UP YOU SCUMMY SCUMBAG COFFEE SCUM PIG BASTARDS!!!

    CHEERS

    A POOR PERSON

    • Jooeee
    • 13/11/2012 10:33

    I have opened this account with Starbucks JUST to tell the company how
    disgusted I am with their tax avoidance. There is no way you are trading
    in this country without making a handsome profit. Therefore you should
    pay all the tax due in this country.
    Small independent coffee shops pay taxes at an appropriate level and so
    should you.I will no longer be buying coffee from you in the same way I am boycotting other tax avoiding companies.

    • SteveShark
    • 13/11/2012 10:55

    So, you don't pay UK corporation tax because you're trying to grow your UK business?
    Why should this country - and by extension its people - subsidise your business?

    • Dacrewot
    • 13/11/2012 11:24

    Guys how are you all being so negative?
    Their accounts explained it to me.
    Starbucks pay 20% VAT on everything they buy and then have to pay it too when customers give them money for items. So 40% tax!

      • StarFucksTaxTheBiscuit
      • 13/11/2012 14:48

      In reply to: Dacrewot

      Suggest you take an accountancy course!!

      • Flashaman
      • 14/11/2012 16:00

      In reply to: Dacrewot

      LOL er no. That's not how it works. Starbucks will record the VAT they pay on suppliers goods and services and how much is paid on their goods and services. Then if there's a difference they'll either get a refund (if they pay more to suppliers) or they'll have to pay (if their customers paid more).

    • JCBoyce85
    • 13/11/2012 11:49

    I'm pleased to see you've realised how ludicrous the argument "Our low paid staff pay PAYE on our behalf" was. But really you should have deleted the whole post as the rest of it is just as ludicrous. People aren't idiots. You are a parasitic company. Pay your taxes or expect a boycott.

    • kayj789
    • 13/11/2012 12:04

    I've opened an account just to comment on this and make it clear that, after years of being a Starbucks coffee drinker, I AM BOYCOTTING YOUR STORES until you start paying your taxes. I'm also furious about your letter and attempt to justify Starbucks actions. PAY YOUR TAXES!

    • Alytucker1
    • 13/11/2012 12:11

    Hmmm, not really buying this. Will be off to a local independant coffee shop once my starbucks card credit has run out. Love your coffee but time to start supporting struggling small businesses who pay their taxes fairly.

    • Alytucker1
    • 13/11/2012 12:20

    I would have more respect if you grew some balls, held up your hands and said 'yep, busted, and we are sorry and will play fair in future'. The more I read your statement, the madder I get.

    • Irreverent_rev
    • 13/11/2012 12:50

    Do the right thing and pay your tax or go out of business.

    • USTaxpayer
    • 13/11/2012 14:06

    Hey folks, to make things worse the founder of Starbucks is over in the States, supporting tax reform on the rich because they "aren't paying their fair share.
    We call them "limousine liberals". Hypocritical, maybe?

    • StarFucksTaxTheBiscuit
    • 13/11/2012 14:51

    Clearly Kris thinks the British public are so dim they will believe this bullshit. Please British public don't prove him right by going into a Starbucks store

    • LauraShy
    • 14/11/2012 03:24

    First of all, I want to say I don´t like coffee from their stores. But it is a nonsense to blame the corporation for global economic crisisI consider their products to have an inferior quality and therefore don´t go there. I am convincedStarbucks is doing much better job than McDonalds and KFC, because it is based on fair trade products, it cares about environment and does not build horrible stores for its products.

    • Greypaint
    • 14/11/2012 04:22

    What a despicable company and chief executive.

    Taking lessons from sir (sic) Philip Green, stating PAYE and VAT is a contribution to taxes....

    I have been active in growing boycotts of starbucks and hope everyone drives your UK business to the dogs.

    I am supporting local businesses now and will never darken your doors again.

    Good riddance to bad companies.

    • campain_
    • 14/11/2012 14:27

    DITTO DITTO DITTO kayj789 13/11/2012 12:04:

    "I've opened an account just to comment on this and make it clear that, after years of being a Starbucks coffee drinker, I AM BOYCOTTING YOUR STORES until you start paying your taxes. I'm also furious about your letter and attempt to justify Starbucks actions. PAY YOUR TAXES!"

    • password123456789
    • 14/11/2012 15:59

    Ummm, in all this vitriol nobody seems to have picked up on the two most shocking statements in this. That Starbucks creates "innovative products" and that the UK is "one of the most dynamic espresso markets in the world" Putting hazlenut syrup into coffee isn't innovative, it's depressing, and the UK market is dominated by buckets of warm coffee flavoured milk. I mean seriously, when's the last time you heard someone order an espresso in ANY chain shop or most independents for that matter.

      • password123456789
      • 14/11/2012 16:02

      In reply to: password123456789

      Right, I'm off to delete my account and hose myself down with bleach. I've never bought into the right-on wafty hippy horeshit Starbucks spouts to cover a seriously shark like operation and now I've been proved right. Never drunk there and never will.

    • faithicle
    • 14/11/2012 16:35

    It's very easy to hate a faceless, immoral company that only cares about profit but much harder to hate a person. What I really want to do is to look Kris Engskov and the other people in charge in the eye and tell them that they are heartless people who are depriving our nation of the money it legally deserves - money that would be spent on the people who need it, including services like HEALTHCARE. Don't any of them dare say that they are an ethical business.

    • starbuckonotaxo
    • 14/11/2012 17:21

    I'm appalled at what has come to light. Starbucks expand rapidly in the UK, tell shareholders they make 15% margin, then for tax benefits start to resell coffee they already own via a tax benefical country, at a higher rate to the UK in order to operate at a loss for HMRC. PR Citing VAT and employers tax as their input. It’s laughable that they proclaim a loss and promote the guy in charge. I was a 4x a week starbuckser – no more! Companies like this are ruining our country.

    • TheFactoryShow
    • 14/11/2012 18:28

    Like many of those commenting above me, I've only created a Starbucks account in order to post on this blog.

    Mr. Engskov. Please take on board what is being said to you here. We are not stupid. It would be much more admirable for your company to admit that what it has done is wrong, and that you will pay tax in the future. I fear you will not.

    One of the main reasons that the UK is facing another recession is because major corporations don't pay their fair share of tax. This isn't the end.

    • nitrox11
    • 15/11/2012 03:01

    Kris, I read your letter above and I watched the performence of Troy Alstead at the Select Committee. You say you are interested in reading our thoughts and comments, well here are mine
    1) Sack Troy Alstead - a hopeless liar. It's got to be hard trying to cover up dishonesty, but he's had plenty of practice. Utter failure.(Watching him squirm did make delicious viewing though)
    2) Don't think we're imbeciles, we're not, as you'll discover
    3) PAY YOUR TAXES OR BE WIPED OUT IN THE UK.

    • fopa_74
    • 15/11/2012 03:07

    Pay you fair share like the rest of us have too or GTFO.
    It's that simple you bunch of thieving tw**s.

      • stoptransferpricing
      • 15/11/2012 05:28

      In reply to: fopa_74

      I've taken my annual approx £300 'coffee' spend elsewhere and I won't be setting foot in Starbucks again. I've told my girlfriend and friends to do likewise. On the work coffee run we don't go to Starbucks anymore. So all together that's potentially circa £1,000 annual revenue going to other 'coffee' chains who pay their taxes.
      If you make money from British people then pay tax in Britain.

    • Kellyklf76
    • 15/11/2012 05:57

    How can you honestly say you made a loss that big? Wouldn't you just pull out the UK and say it's not profitable, I know I would. You are just a bunch of thieving liars. I will not spend another penny in Starbucks in this country again! Mr Engskov you should become a politician, waffle waffle and avoid the real subject. If what you say about paying to use the roasting house and a royalty to a parent company is true, then all I can say is get a new name, MD and start again.

    • wolfie00
    • 15/11/2012 06:09

    Not very good liars are you??? We will be swerving Starbucks from now on and it will be COSTA COFFEE ALL THE WAY - WOOHOO!!!

    Can't wait to see my "Tax Dollars" arriving at the treasury through COSTA COFFEE even though the MP's help themselves to most of it and waste the rest!!!

    • almostahawk
    • 15/11/2012 07:46

    You claim 'it doesn't make good business sense' to source your beans in the UK. Surely it also doesn't make good business sense to open 300 new stores if you're not making substantial profit. A simple apology and repayment of the tax you've dodged would have sufficed, but what you've written is instead an insult to the taxpayer and also the readers' intelligence.My workplace only sells starbucks coffee, so we've decided to all buy flasks and bring in our own instead. You are part of the problem.

      • almostahawk
      • 16/11/2012 05:01

      In reply to: almostahawk

      P.S. I'm sitting here reading all this with a cup of Costa coffee... Will get an English Breakfast Tea later from the Cornish Pasty Co. and will make a pot of Jasmine when I get home...

    • Acavill46
    • 15/11/2012 08:48

    It is derisory that you do not pay tax in this country. Your British business is here so you should pay all the tax possible and not run and hide behind a tax free haven. It is deceitful and immoral.

    • paygbtax
    • 15/11/2012 09:20

    PAYE is a tax on the employee not the company. If you don't want to pay tax then remove your company from this country and the market share will be taken up by other coffee houses. After your statement above I will never drink a cup of starbucks again!

    • GeraldRatner
    • 15/11/2012 10:26

    Honestly, I can't see why you're getting all this flak.
    (It'll be nothing compared to when the size of your severance deal gets leaked, mind...)

    • robinbstard
    • 15/11/2012 10:35

    Buy British, buy Costa

    • taxpayingnhsprofessional
    • 15/11/2012 15:00

    If you cant see through the lies and irony in your statement with stated commitment to be 'ethical local and global' then I recommend going to see these lovely ladies who will make it clear;
    http://www.fascinatingaida.co.uk/audio/P5
    Their song 'we're Companies Using Nifty Tax Schemes', spells it out. (capitalised letters).Your coffee and your tax avoidance leave a sour taste.

    • Jill57strong
    • 15/11/2012 15:06

    I too have created an account, only so that I am able to comment. I have rarely used Starbucks because I prefer tea and don't enjoy paying an inflated price for a mediocre product in your outdated, scruffy and depressing shops. I was pleased to see your statement above because it can only serve to drive away even more of your custom. At last! Your immoral behaviour may see our high streets revert to those with characterful places of refreshment.

    • PhilTheGreek
    • 16/11/2012 02:46

    I hear Greece is another great place to operate without paying fair taxes,
    which appears to be your preferred business model.

    Thanks ever so much for being such responsible corporate citizens and
    pushing our economy in the same direction as theirs.

    • payyourfairshare
    • 16/11/2012 13:33

    Its morally repugnant - I buy your coffee and you syphon the money between various holding companies and pay yourself royalties? Disgusting!!!!!

    Treat your customers and the country in which you are operating in with the dency that is required!

    • GauntyGB
    • 18/11/2012 01:43

    Wholly unconvincing. If it walks like a duck, quackes like a duck, it's a duck. Until you take a demonstratably social responsible approach to UK taxes, my family having having been loyal and regular Starbucks customers, will use Costa. Your cynical approach will cost you customer loyalty and sales in the long term, potentially life long. If you can be so disingenuous about your taxes, why should we believe your ethical position/statements on coffee farmers.......bad brand management..... : (

    • dontinsultmyintelligence
    • 23/11/2012 06:10

    Please don't insult my intelligence. You are tax dodgers of the highest order and are steeling money from me and everyone else in this country.

    Pay up or get out!

    • mickydripping
    • 27/11/2012 10:34

    Of course you are committed to the UK - it costs you ZERO TAX to operate here!!
    What you need to know is that we are no longer committed to Starbucks!!!!

    • mgpb1936
    • 02/12/2012 12:30

    I understand that there are serious issues regarding the Fairtrade commitment....don't for one moment think that Starbucks treats the farmers in the third world decently. this is a thoroughly dishonest company.

    • LieutenantKaraStarbuck6
    • 03/12/2012 01:46

    I've been reading this since the start but didn't want to jump on and say I am boycotting Starbucks until I had been doing it for a while and could claim it as a behaviour, not as a mere intention.
    I am a frequent frothy coffee drinker, as are many of my friends and family and you have lost us all. I know lots of work colleagues who are also avoiding you now.
    My switch to Costa has been total and you have much work to do if you ever wish me to step over your doors again.

    • LieutenantKaraStarbuck6
    • 03/12/2012 01:50

    The switch to Costa has not been particularly irksome. However this weekend when doing a motorway journey to London I realised I had to skip past one of my regular service station stops as it only has Starbucks.
    It made me wonder if the service stations realise they are losing people like me who are driving on by because of Starbucks?

    • mgpb1936
    • 03/12/2012 05:25

    I think a new thread should be started regarding the Freetrade scam.
    1-Fair Trade Is Essentially a Marketing Organization
    2-Faitrade keeps poor farmers poor
    3-Companies like Starbucks use Faitrade to justify charging more for poor quality coffee
    The FLO (Fairtrade Labelling Organizations International) sets a floor price of $1.40 per pound of coffee, which is supposed to be a "higher than market" price, but is actually hardly more than what growers were being paid to begin with. ...

    • mgpb1936
    • 03/12/2012 05:29

    Fairtrade scam...continued
    A recent study in the Netherlands found that despite the higher prices consumers were being charged for Fair Trade coffee, less than 12 percent of that money was actually reaching the growers. That is, none of that revenue they were responsible for producing was making it back to their countries in any way (see "literal definition of exploitation," above). ...to be continued


    • Simonjcarr
    • 10/12/2012 08:02

    I really wanted to comment on the site but it wouldn't allow me to without giving all my personal details. The truth is, I pay more corporation tax than Starbucks, and that is beyond insulting. The brand is dead to me, and was half empty in Bluewater at the weekend! Good!!