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(June 12, 2001) OSLO -- Seattle-based international coffee shop chain Starbucks is poised to enter the Scandinavian market.

Starbucks is believed to be in talks with Norwegian kiosk chain Narvesen about a joint venture, which would see Starbucks establish outlets in Norway, Sweden and Denmark.

The move into Scandinavia is part of Starbucks' plans to continue its worldwide expansion. The company aims to have 650 outlets in Europe by the end of 2003.

Narvesen, which recently merged with the Oslo-based supermarket retail chain Reitan, already controls a large network of local kiosks and international franchises in Norway, including 7 Eleven, TGI Fridays and Burger King. -- Gerard O'Dwyer

Copyright June 2001, Crain Communications Inc.

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