Starbucks is considering leaving the UK. What the

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Starbucks is exploring a sale of its operations in the UK as it faces competition from newer operators, The Times reported on Saturday, citing sources familiar with the situation, according to Reuters.

The coffee chain asked Houlihan Lokey to look into interest in its UK business, adding that the company faces competition from rival coffee chains such as Pret A Manger, Tim Hortons and Costa.

The Starbucks business in the UK brings together over 1,000 cafes and has around 4,000 employees there.

According to The Times, the company did not initiate a “formal sale process” of its UK business and continued to evaluate “strategic options” for the company’s international operations.

The company did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Reuters. Starbucks suspended its estimates for the current fiscal year in its most recent quarter earnings report after it missed Wall Street analysts’ targets due to China’s harsh restrictions on Covid-19, which affected its sales.

The company, which has recently faced recent efforts to unionize the US workforce, is looking for a permanent successor to the CEO, while Howard Schultz remains acting CEO.