Skip to content Skip to Search
Skip navigation

Kuwait’s Alshaya lays off Mena Starbucks staff

A Starbucks cafe in Beirut, Lebanon. Jobs are being cut due to 'continually challenging trading conditions' in the Mena region Reuters/Jamal Saidi
A Starbucks cafe in Beirut, Lebanon. Jobs are being cut due to 'continually challenging trading conditions' in the Mena region
  • Job losses estimated at 2,000
  • Boycott calls related to Gaza conflict
  • Starbucks rebuts bias accusations

Kuwait’s Alshaya Group, one of the Gulf’s largest franchise owners, is cutting jobs at its Starbucks outlets.  

The coffee brand has suffered from calls for a boycott since the start of the Gaza conflict.

“As a result of the continually challenging trading conditions over the last six months, we have taken the sad and very difficult decision to reduce the number of colleagues in our Starbucks Mena stores,” an Alshaya Group spokesperson said.

Stories have circulated about Starbucks’ perceived pro-Israel stance but the company has denied this is the case, saying that they “stand for humanity”.

While Alshaya Group did not confirm the number of employees leaving, sources told Reuters the number was about 2,000.

“We will ensure that we give our colleagues leaving the business, and their families, the support they need,” the statement added.

The Kuwaiti retailer operates 70 brands in 4,000 stores across 18 countries. It has been running the Starbucks brand for over 25 years and has 1,300 coffee shops and 11,000 staff in 17 countries.

Reuters reported last month that Alshaya Group was in talks to sell a minority stake in its regional Starbucks business, with US private equity company Apollo Global Management one of the potential bidders.

Alshaya Group has declined to comment on the reports.

Starbucks has experienced protests since the start of Israel’s military offensive in Gaza following Hamas’ surprise attack on October 7, with business in the region down on market expectations in the first quarter. 

Alshaya Group in January confirmed that it is scaling back its operations in Egypt due to “the difficulties faced by overseas businesses” in the North African country.

Bloomberg reported that about 60 stores will be closed and around 375 employees laid off.

Americana Restaurants International, which runs 2,435 outlets across the region covering brands including KFC, Hardee’s, Pizza Hut, TGI Friday’s and Krispy Kreme, have also reported that revenue fell 15 percent year on year in the last three months of 2023, with profit across the same period down by nearly half.

Latest articles

Flooding in Dubai affected many people's homes. Emaar has promised .free repairs for its residents, and an upgraded sewerage system is planned

Emaar promises free repairs as Dubai launches sewerage system

Emaar Properties is offering free repairs to residents whose homes were damaged during this week’s extreme flooding, as Dubai also announced an AED80 billion ($22 billion) sewerage system. The developer announced on Friday that it would repair all homes in its communities affected by the historic levels of rain, “at no cost to residents”. Emaar’s […]

A customer paying with a credit card inside the Black Friday Market in Beirut. Lebanon wants more people to move away from cash

Lebanon launches plan to promote use of bank cards

Lebanese central bank Banque du Liban announced a new agreement on Thursday that it hopes will result in a rebound in the use of bank cards. As part of the agreement, Mastercard and Visa will lower card fees on transactions, particularly for people with bank accounts based outside Lebanon. In a press release, the bank […]

Construction work in Kuwait. Nurseries, schools and shops are being built for the new residential district of Al Metlaa

Kuwait signs $140m contracts for Al Metlaa development

Kuwait’s Public Authority for Housing Welfare (PAHW) has signed two contracts worth KD42 million ($140 million) to construct public buildings in Al Metlaa, a new residential district north of Kuwait City. Nurseries, stores, schools and shops will be included, state news agency Kuna reported. Electricity connections have been provided for 109 buildings in the district, […]

Iraq gas oil

Iraq to auction 30 oil and gas projects this month

Iraq will auction 30 new oil and gas projects in two licensing rounds before the end of April. The bidding round will be held on April 27, Reuters reported, citing an oil ministry statement. Last October Iraq passed a long-awaited oil and gas law, which will help the country attract more international investments into the hydrocarbon industry and boost government revenues.  Ali Metwally, an […]