Starbucks Sales at Mexico's Alsea Hit by Anti-Trump Sentiment

  • Analyst estimates 9% decline at stores open a year or more
  • Brand was hit by call for boycott of American brands in Mexico

Donald Trump calling Mexicans rapists, drug addicts and bad hombres has hit one all-American brand in Mexico.

Starbucks’ same-store sales dropped 9 percent in the first quarter at Alsea SAB, the company that operates the brand in Mexico, according to estimates from Valentin Mendoza, an analyst at Banorte-IXE. He estimated the decline based on conversations with the company and his own calculations.

“The numbers reflect the anti-Trump sentiment clearly,” Mendoza said in a phone interview. “There’s a 9 percent fall in the sales productivity at Starbucks stores.”

The drop is the first registered for an American brand in Mexico attributed to Trump since he was elected last November. The president’s rhetoric toward the country led Mexican social-media users to call for a boycott in early January of American products. The protests targeted brands such as Starbucks, McDonald’s, Wal-Mart and Coca-Cola, with hashtags like #adiosstarbucks trending on Twitter. Starbucks issued a press release saying it stood ready to help and support its Mexican customers.

Itaú BBA analyst Joaquin Ley cited the impact of the boycott in an April 26 note to clients.

While Alsea doesn’t break down results by brand, the Mexico City-based company acknowledged the fallout in an email Thursday.

“For a few days, we saw an impact in Starbucks’ sales in Mexico due to the context,” said spokesman Mario Paez. “It was quickly offset by the company informing on the link it has to our country, its relationship with Alsea which is a 100 percent Mexican company and its connection to the community.”

Alsea reported first-quarter results Wednesday after markets closed, beating estimates for sales and earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization. The company operates several American brands like Domino’s, Burger King, Chili’s, P.F. Chang’s and the Cheescake Factory in Mexico.

— With assistance by Leslie Patton

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