Riding on the momentum from the opening of its 500thstore in Mainland China in October, Starbucks Coffee Company entered another five new Chinese cities: Langfang (Hebei Province), Zhengzhou (provincial capital of Henan Province), Harbin (provincial capital of Heilongjiang Province), Xiangtan (Hunan Province) and Zhoushan (Zhejiang Province). In the past year, Starbucks has successfully entered 13 new cities in Mainland China and the stores in these communities have been popular and well-accepted by locals.
“Entering five new Chinese cities this month demonstrates our strong commitment to China, our second home market outside of the United States,” said John Culver, president, Starbucks China and Asia Pacific. “Starbucks has never been better positioned for sustained profitable growth than we are today and we aim to accelerate this momentum in 2012. We look forward to opening more stores and entering more new cities to reach Chinese consumers.”
As previously announced, approximately half of the 300 Starbucks China and Asia Pacific new store openings, in fiscal 2012, will be in China.
“At Starbucks China, we want to grow in a way that is unique to the brand – not only ensuring positive store sales, but also deepening our coffee authority, elevating the customer experience and contributing to the thriving communities in which we operate,” added Belinda Wong, president, Starbucks China. “We know each Starbucks store is unique to our partners (employees), customers and the community. As such, we are not just aiming to open another 1,000 stores over the next four years; we are going to open one store 1,000 times because each store is important.”
On December 1, Starbucks served its first cup of Starbucks coffee in Harbin in Northeast China, which marks the global coffee company’s northernmost store in Asia. Despite the cold temperature, long queues formed outside the new store with local customers eager to be amongst the first in their city to engage in the authentic Starbucks Experience. Starbucks first store in Harbin is located in the city’s most popular cultural and heritage district. On December 2, Starbucks opened its first store in the city of Xiangtan. The store is prominently located at the city’s largest Bubugao Shopping Mall.
Since its entry into China in 1999, Starbucks has not only been a symbol of China’s rapid urban development, but also for its customer: the authentic coffee culture, genuine moments of connection between its partners and customers, and unique Starbucks Experience have come to embody a new modern lifestyle pursuit and aspiration. Starbucks today operates more than 500 stores, across 44 Chinese cities.