US coffee giant Starbucks will move its European, Middle East and Africa headquarters to London, from Amsterdam, by the end of 2014.

The move follows a row over corporate tax avoidance after the firm was criticised over low payments in the UK, which the company blamed on overexpansion.

The Seattle-based chain paid corporation tax in the UK for the first time since 2008 last year, as it committed to pay £20m ($33m, €24m) over two years.

The firm, which employs 7,500 workers across Britain, said by making the move the firm's senior managers will be "better able" to oversee the UK market.

"This move speaks for itself," said Kris Engskov, President of Starbucks Emea. "London is the perfect place to grow our European business."

The firm also said it plans to open more than 100 retail stores across the country this year, creating 1,000 new, permanent jobs.

Starbucks also said it expects continued growth in other European markets as well.

"This move will mean we pay more tax in the UK," a Starbucks spokesperson said.

The retailer will continue to employ more than 200 partners in its Amsterdam hub to support its EMEA business.