Starbucks Coffee International (SCI), a wholly owned subsidiary of Seattle-based giant Starbucks Coffee Co (SCC), and its German partner, KarstadtQuelle, have announced the opening of the first two Starbucks stores in Berlin.

"Our entry into Germany comes at a time when our European operations are gaining an incredible momentum," said Howard Schultz, chairman and chief global strategist, SCC: "In addition to our recent store openings in Madrid, Spain, our retail presence and growth in Switzerland and Austria continue to exceed expectations.

"We are very excited about the vast opportunities in Germany, which is one of the highest coffee-consuming countries in the world. I am confident that the Starbucks coffeehouse experience will have a strong acceptance in Berlin," he added.

SCI and KarstadtQuelle, Europe's largest department store and mail order group, signed a joint venture agreement to open Starbucks retail locations in Germany, in October last year. The joint venture, Karstadt Coffee, headed by MD Cornelius Everke and deputy managing director Pascal Krian, will be responsible for the successful rollout of Starbucks in Germany.

Wolfgang Urban, CEO of KarstadtQuelle said: "We take great pride in launching the 'Starbucks Experience' in Germany. Following the first two stores in Berlin, we plan to open a further five to ten stores in the next six months."

Following Germany, the first Starbucks store in Greece is scheduled to open at the end of this year. Starbucks is also rapidly proceeding with its strategic plans for the Latin American market, having announced its plans for Mexico and Puerto Rico recently. In Asia, Starbucks opened its first store in Jakarta, Indonesia, on 17 May.