Starbucks Upsets Locals With Plans To Open In Historic Area Of Paris

Category: Companies / Jan 25, 2013 10:14AM EDT
Starbucks is set to open an outlet in a historic site in Paris as part of its expansion plans in Europe, but the location of its newest store has upset some local residents. Famous for its cobbled streets, Bohemian atmosphere and artistic residents, locals have lobbied hard to stop Starbucks opening on the Place du Tertre in Montmartre. The store is due to open next month, bringing a very American kind of coffee, to a very Parisian neighborhood. The local sentiment is clear, "no to capitalism". In Paris, it is not just the locals who are lamenting Starbucks' arrival. American blogger Mary Kay Bosshart says the U.S. coffee chain does not fit with the romantic image that visitors have of the area. "Starbucks in Paris, in the other places in Paris, I'm fine with that. But Place du Tertre has a special meaning for me. I first came here when I was probably 18 and it was the soul and heart of Paris. So to think of having a Starbucks here, it's a shame. I wish that everybody could come here and have the same vision that I did of Paris," said Bosshart. This is not the first time a Starbucks location has sparked controversy. In 2007, a store in Beijing's historic Forbidden City was forced to close down following public protest that the U.S. chain was at odds with the traditional culture of the former imperial residential compound. However, despite the strong opposition in Paris, Starbucks' plan to open there is moving ahead.