Starbucks selling stores, closing operations in Europe

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SEATTLE (AP) - Starbucks is restructuring its European operations after several years of slowing sales.

The Seattle-based coffee chain is selling 83 company-owned stores in France, the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg to its longtime partner, Alsea. Alsea will also take over operations at 177 other Starbucks locations in those countries which are owned by franchisees.

Mexico City-based Alsea already operates more than 900 Starbucks stores in Mexico and South America.

The deal is similar to one Starbucks made in 2016, when it sold off its stores in Germany.

Starbucks also plans to close offices in Amsterdam and consolidate its European headquarters in London. The closure will impact 186 employees, who will be encouraged to apply to open jobs in London.

Starbucks will retain a roasting plant in the Netherlands which employs 80 people.

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