Starbucks is shedding staff in North Africa due to Gaza boycotts

By our African Marketing Confederation News Team | 2024

Workers in Morocco and Egypt among those being laid off as consumers boycott the coffee shop chain and other US-based businesses.

The Starbucks coffee shop chain franchisee in North Africa is being forced to lay off workers due to a public backlash against US-owned companies in the region. 

Photo: Dom J from Pexels


Alshaya Group, which has the master franchise for Morocco and Egypt, as well as for various Middle Eastern countries and Turkey, confirmed in a recent statement that staff would lose their jobs.  


According to various – sometimes conflicting – media reports, around 2,000 staff spread across approximately 1,900 Starbucks outlets operated by Alshaya, are being laid off.  


Starbucks is among several US-based brands that have been targeted for boycotts because of perceived support for Israel in the ongoing conflict in Gaza. 


The brand has denied this and has had no outlets operating in Israel since the early 2000s. 


Challenging trading conditions 


In a statement reported by broadcaster CNN, Alshaya said the layoffs are the “result of the continually challenging trading conditions over the last six months” and that it has “taken the sad and very difficult decision to reduce the number of colleagues” at its Starbucks locations.  


“We will ensure that we give our colleagues leaving the business, and their families, the support they need, and we would like to express our deepest thanks for their hard work and dedication to Alshaya Group and the Starbucks brand,” the Kuwait-based company said. 


According to news agency Reuters, Alshaya was established in 1890 and is one of the biggest retail franchisees in the region with rights to operate businesses of popular Western brands. 


Several other brands with US ties are being subjected to consumer boycotts in North Africa. These include fast-food chain McDonald’s, and Yum Brands, whose portfolio contains KFC and Pizza Hut. 

Dr Kin Kariisa

Group CEO - Next Media

Dr. Kin Kariisa is an extraordinary force at the helm of Next Media Services, a conglomerate encompassing NBS TV, Nile Post, Sanyuka TV, Next Radio, Salam TV, Next Communication, Next Productions, and an array of other influential enterprises. His dynamic role as Chief Executive Officer exemplifies his unwavering commitment to shaping media, business, and community landscapes.
With an esteemed academic journey, Dr. Kariisa’s accolades include an Honorary PhD in exemplary community service from the United Graduate College inTexas, an MBA from United States International University in Nairobi, Kenya, a Master’s degree in Computer Engineering from Huazong University in China, and a Bachelor’s degree in Statistics from Makerere University.
Dr. Kariisa pursued PhD research in Computer Security and Identity Management at Security of Systems Group, Radboud University in Nijmegen, Netherlands. As a dynamic educator, he has shared his expertise as a lecturer of e-Government and Information Security at both Makerere University and Radboud University.

Dr Kin did his PhD research in Computer Security and Identity Management at Security of Systems Group, Radbond University in Nigmegen, Netherlands. He previously served as a lecturer of e-Government and Information Security at Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda and Radbond University in Netherlands.

Dr Kin did his postgraduate courses in Strategic Business Management, Strategic Leadership Communication and Strategies for Leading Successful Change Initiatives at Harvard University, Boston USA.

  • Other current and previous roles played by Dr Kin Kariisa:
  • Lecturer of e-Government and Information Security to graduate students at Makerere University, Kampala and Radbond University in the Netherlands
  • Director of Eco Bank Uganda Limited, one of the largest banks in Africa
  • Chairman of the National Association of Broadcasters, an umbrella industry association for all Television, Radio and online broadcasters in Uganda.
  • Chairman of Board of Directors of Nile Hotel International, that owns the leading hotel in Uganda, Kampala Serena Hotel.
  • Chairman of Board of Directors of Soliton Telmec Uganda, the leading telecom company in Optic fibre business managing over 80% of optic fibre in Uganda.