Starbucks opens first store in Panama

Starbucks has opened its first store in Panama City, making its 15th market in Latin America and 67th worldwide. Partnering with Premium Restaurants of America (PRA), its long-term licensing partner in Central America, Starbucks opened the store in Panama City’s Street Mall shopping center. “By extending our relationship with Premium Restaurants of America, we are diligently positioning the brand for continued growth in Latin America,” said Rich Nelsen, Senior Vice President and General Manager for Starbucks in Latin America. Since teaming up with Starbucks in 2010, PRA has opened 19 Starbucks stores, with eight in El Salvador, five in Guatemala, five in Costa Rica and now one in Panama. Starbucks and PRA plan to open at least 20 stores in Panama City over the next five years. “We are honoured to be Starbucks strategic partner in Central America,” said Francisco Alemán, General Director for Central America at PRA. “Our local market knowledge combined with our proven track record of operating Starbucks stores will allow us to offer an exceptional experience to Panamanian customers.” With a 28 ft. high ceiling, the focal point of the store is a custom made hanging mobile, designed to represent the Geisha coffee plant, which signifies the birth of the coffee industry in Panama. “Latin America has been part of Starbucks story from the very beginning,” said Scott Mitchem, Starbucks Director of Design for Latin America. “Our store designs pay tribute to the region’s heritage and culture by working with local inspirations, artists and designers. We wanted to bring that same passion to the design of our first store in Panama.”

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