Starbucks to Triple Stores in China

Starbucks Corp., the biggest coffee retailer in the world, announced plans to more than triple its stores in China and other Asian regions to take advantage of the growing coffee business.

The world’s largest coffee retailer Starbucks Corp. on Tuesday unveiled plans to triple its coffee shops in China and beef up expansion in other Asian regions in the next four years.

Jinlong Wang, Starbucks Asia Pacific president, said that the company plans to increase its stores from 470 to 1,500 in China by 2015; and establish a total of 700 coffee shops from the current 370 in South Korea by 2016.

“For the past 5,000 years, China has been known as a tea-drinking nation, but we’ve created a new coffee culture in the country. The coffee industry in China has a huge potential,” Wang said.

Earlier, the coffee giant said revenues from its international business, which accounted for 23 percent of overall sales – increased by at least 20 percent in the second quarter of 2011.

Starbucks has been eyeing expansion in fast-growing and emerging markets in different regions to help boost sales. In Asia alone, Starbucks remained the top choice among consumers despite slowing economy.

To date, the company has over 17,000 coffee shops in 55 countries. By the end of this month, the company also aims to introduce its “Via Ready Brew” instant coffee in Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea, Thailand and Australia.

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