Japanese coffee chain % Arabica continues its expansion plan, opening its first store in South Korea.
Located at Starfield Library, one of the most famous destinations in Seoul’s Gangnam district, the cafe encourages customers to relax with books and coffee.
The store, which follows the brand’s trademark simple, clean approach to design, features white decorations with a glass exterior. The store is the 125th location of % Arabica globally, following the launch of its Taiwan store last month.
Statista estimates there are some 76,150 coffee shops in South Korea. Coffee sales in the country reached around US$2.3 billion last year, representing a steady increase since 2008.
Starbucks, Paik Daband, Ediya Coffee and A Twosome Place are some of the popular coffee brand names among Millennials and Gen Z in the “land of kimchi”.
Starbucks appears to be the most popular brand, with sales revenue of $1.7 billion last year, while local chain Ediya, third-largest by revenue, had the most stores as of 2020.
Statista also reports the desire for new coffee experiences among South Korean has given rise to fads like nitro cold brew and specially blended coffees. It appears that South Korea is still a potential coffee market for both domestic and international brands.