Sunday 21 July 2024
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Starbucks plans to open 500 stores a year in China

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CHENGDU, China – Starbucks said on Tuesday it aims to open 500 stores in China this year, with a goal of operating at least 3,400 stores there by 2019. In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, the company’s chairman and CEO Howard Schultz said that he is bullish on the world’s most populous country.

He also stated that the Seattle-based coffee giant, which already runs 2,000 stores in 100 Chinese cities, plans to open 500 more annually for the next five years.

“We have confidence in the future of the Chinese economy, despite all the rhetoric, noise and issues,” said Schultz, who is visiting China this week. “People are looking for reasons not to believe. I’m on the ground, and I see firsthand. I am bullish.”

Schultz reaffirmed yesterday the strategic role of the China market in shaping the future of the company with the announcement of several market-leading initiatives, further elevating the unique Starbucks Experience for partners (employees) and customers.

Schultz and other company leaders announced the initiatives at Starbucks China Partner-Family Forum in Chengdu where they joined more than 1,300 Central and Western China region partners and their family members to experience Starbucks mission and values together and celebrated the 2,000 store milestone achievement.

“As Starbucks second largest and fastest-growing market globally, China represents the most important and exciting opportunity ahead of us,” said Schultz. “We are deeply humbled by the enthusiasm with which Chinese people have embraced Starbucks as part of their daily ritual over the past 17 years.

Over time, it’s conceivable that China could become our largest market and I am grateful to our 30,000 dedicated China partners and their supportive families for the significant contributions they are making to Starbucks success.

The continued investments we are making, coupled with the culture of innovation we have established, are elevating Starbucks partner and customer experience beyond that of any other retailer in China.”

Joining Schultz on stage at the Partner Family Forum was Jack Ma, founder and executive chairman of Alibaba Group, where both leaders shared their vision to redefine the roles and responsibilities of a for-profit public company – one that invests in its people, giving back to the local communities in meaningful ways, and creating unique developmental opportunities for the youth of today.

The Partner Family Forum is a first-of-its-kind employee engagement event, first introduced by Starbucks China in 2012, as part of a series of new initiatives aimed to honor the special role families play in China.

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