Starbucks to debut in Vietnam

Saigon media reports suggest US coffee giant Starbucks could open its first Vietnam cafe in Ho Chi Minh in as little as four weeks. 

Expat magazine The Word reports online that Jardine Matheson – the holding company that has the Vietnam franchise rights for Pizza Hut – has secured the master franchise for Starbucks.

The company has confirmed only that the first cafe would open during 2012.

But The Word predicts “the first Starbucks could be opening its doors within four weeks” based on street talk. 

Jardine Matheson has not responded to those reports or provided any further comment, including identifying potential locations.

Starbucks – together with fellow US fast food chain McDonald’s – is noticeably absent from Vietnam which is attracting a raft of international quick service restaurant and cafe brands, including Baskin-Robbins, Popeye’s, Carl’s Jnr, Burger King and Australia’s Hog’s Breath Cafe. Starbucks is already present in neighbouring southeast Asian markets Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand.
 
If it does make it to Vietnam it would compete with local operator Highlands – itself expanding outside its home market with stores under development in the Philippines – and Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf. 


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