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Starbucks Creates Siren Retail Group To Manage Specialty Store Growth

Starbucks has promoted Cliff Burrows to head its new Siren Retail Group, which will encompass the retailer’s Roastery, Starbucks Reserve and stand-alone Princi bakeries. Burrows, who has been with Starbucks since 2001, most recently as Group President for the U.S. and Americas, also will take charge of growing the company’s global Teavana business.

The Siren Group’s debut is part of several organizational changes at the company, including the promotion of John Culver to the role of Group President for Starbucks Global Retail. His most recent position was Group President for China/Asia Pacific, Channel Development and Emerging Brands.

The company has had mixed success with stores operating under non-Starbucks banners. In June 2015 the retailer announced it would close its 23 freestanding La Boulange bakery café locations, along with two manufacturing facilities that supported them. Then, earlier this month, Starbucks announced it would become a global licensee and investor in Princi, a boutique bakery and café founded by Rocco Princi in 1986.

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Starbucks is focusing heavily on expanding the Roastery concept, which debuted in the company’s home town of Seattle in 2014. The first international Roastery is slated to open in Shanghai, China in 2017, and New York City’s Meatpacking district will get a location in 2018. Princi will be the exclusive food purveyor at these Roastery locations.

“What we have created with the Roastery is the most dynamic, immersive retail experience the industry has ever seen,” said Starbucks Chairman Howard Schultz in a blog post announcing the changes. “With its stunning success, we will now accelerate and globalize the Roastery experience, building more roasteries in iconic cities, and threading the Roastery experience into hundreds of coffee-forward Reserve stores around the world, which also will integrate the spectacular culinary experience of our new Italian food partner, Princi.”

The changes will take effect September 1, 2016.

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