Starbucks Has Big Plans for China - Global Trade Magazine
  February 15th, 2016 | Written by

Starbucks Has Big Plans for China

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  • Starbucks plans to open 500 shops in China this year.
  • Starbucks plans on 3,400 shops in China by 2019.
  • Projections forecast Chinese coffee consumption rising 18 percent annually until 2019.

Starbucks said it is “conceivable” that China could become its largest market after unveiling plans to open 500 shops in China this year.

The move will boost its network there to more than 3,400 shops in China by 2019, up from the current 2,000 it operates in 100 Chinese cities and make the country the Seattle-based coffee chain’s largest global market after the U.S.

“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,” said Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz during a recent visit to the southwest Chinese city of Chengdu.

The company would have a long way to go to make the “conceivable” a reality.

Starbucks currently operates more than 12,000 shops in the U.S. that it either operates or licenses to others. Analysts say the company’s plans for China could be possible as projections forecast Chinese coffee consumption rising 18 percent annually until 2019, growth rate far outpacing anticipated U.S. growth of just less than 1 percent.

Shultz recently told CNBC the company plans to open a new one every day in the country going forward.

The Starbuck’s head was in China to announce a new benefit for its Chinese workers – some of its full-time baristas and shift supervisors at company-owned stores will now be able to receive a monthly housing allowance that covers about 50 percent their monthly costs.