It was reported this morning that the head of Starbucks’ U.K. and Irish business, Darcy Willson-Rymer, stated, “I think where we are now is that we're certainly serving more visitors than we were last year on a like-for-like basis." Specifically, he said that a couple of areas, such as the City of London or airports in particular, have suffered more but that overall the business is performing well.
This signals that the U.K. has continued to improve on a sequential basis as the company stated on its fiscal third quarter that trends had gotten better throughout the quarter. More visitors on a year-over-year basis would mark a positive shift from the negative international traffic trends in the last couple of quarters. Prior to the fiscal third quarter, both the U.K. and Canada (about 80% of international same-store sales) had been the primary drivers of international weakness.
According to our July Grass Roots Survey, the U.S. business has continued to improve in July as well. We will follow up with the details of the survey findings shortly.