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Starbucks Korea to join the delivery fray

Starbucks Korea has jumped into the delivery fray, in its attempt to boost annual sales to US$1.86 billion.

Expanding aggressively its number of stores here, Starbucks Korea has kept growing its presence with its net profit rising 18.5 per cent last year, while sales came in at US$1.628 billion last year.

The Covid-19 pandemic, however, has served as a bump in the road, slowing the coffee giant’s bid to breach the coveted 2 trillion won ($1.8 billion) threshold.

Industry watchers say Starbucks Korea’s decision to enter the delivery service might be its longer-term preparation for the aftermath of the pandemic, which has wreaked havoc on the food and beverage industry.

Starbucks Korea plans to open a delivery-only store in Gangnam District, Seoul on November 27 as part of a pilot project, and following an analysis into demand, it is likely to open another such store in Gangnam mid next month.

The delivery-only store has no space assigned for visiting customers, only coffee making stands and a waiting room for delivery persons known as riders.

Meanwhile, other major coffee brands in Korea such as the Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, Hollys Coffee, Caffe Pascucci and Ediya Coffee are already operating their own delivery services, so they are likely to keep a keen eye on the possible impact Starbucks Korea’s move might result in.

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