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Starbucks accelerates Asian expansion plan – eyes 400 more stores

Starbucks is ramping up its expansion plan in the Asia Pacific region, revealing plans today to open 400 additional stores this year alone.

The expansion will include new cities and outside of major metropolitan areas in markets such as Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines. In Laos, where it first opened its doors in November in the capital city of Vientiane, Starbucks also plans to open a new store this year.

The rollout plans exclude the company’s Chinese and Japanese operations.

Meanwhile, in India, Starbucks plans to build on its existing portfolio of more than 300 stores by expanding into at least five new cities. 

The company recorded an 8 per cent growth in net new stores during the past year.

In South Korea, the US-headquartered coffee chain has introduced a 500sqm thrive-thru store in the business district of Gwangyang-si, marking its 5000th location in the region (excluding China and Japan).  

“Our 5000th store in Asia Pacific is a drive-thru store that speaks both to the changing habits of our customers and of our determination to meet them where it is most convenient, while still offering the Starbucks connection,” said Emmy Kan, president of Starbucks Asia Pacific.

“We will continually enhance our store formats and innovate, not just to cater to changing customer behaviours, but also to fuel growth in the region.”

Starbucks doubled its number of drive-thru stores in the region in the last four years. The brand plans to open more than 100 locations this year. 

Michael Conway, group president, of international and channel development for Starbucks, said the region achieved more than 20 per cent growth year on year as recovery continues. 

“We are well positioned for further growth with our licensed business partners, who continue to elevate the Starbucks Experience across a range of innovative store formats.” 

Last month, Starbucks launched its first community concept cafe in Taiwan in Xiulin Township with local operator Uni-Wonder Corporation.

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