Business

Starbucks names China CEO, plans to double stores there in 5 years

FILE - This Saturday, May 31, 2014, file photo, shows the Starbucks logo at one of the company's coffee shops in downtown Chicago. Starbucks is pushing ahead with its expansion into China and said it is on track to having about 5,000 stores there by 2021, more than doubling the number of coffee shops it currently has in the country. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar, File)

Starbucks is pushing ahead with its expansion into China and said Wednesday that it is on track to have 5,000 stores there by 2021, more than doubling the number of coffee shops it currently has in the country. The coffee chain is looking to China to fuel the company's growth. Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz has said that China could one day surpass the U.S. as its largest market. To oversee the expansion, Starbucks named Belinda Wong as the first CEO of its Chinese business.

We want to apply the same discipline and thoughtfulness and, most importantly, respect for the Chinese customer … and realize that our success in the U.S. does not give us the license to succeed anywhere else in the world. We have to earn it.

CEO Howard Schultz

Chinese customers are spending more time in Starbucks and are buying more food than Americans, Schultz said in an interview with the Associated Press. The company has been adding unique flavors to attract Chinese customers, such as the Black Forest Latte, a mix of cherry juice, cocoa powder and coffee. In September, Starbucks began selling its Teavana tea brand at its China locations. Late next year, Starbucks plans to open a 30,000-square-foot loation in Shanghai that Schultz called a "Disneyland for coffee." The store, named Starbucks Roastery and Reserve Tasting Room, will be similar to one opened in Seattle nearly two years ago, where customers can watch coffee beans being roasted and sip coffee drinks.

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2,300

STORES

Starbucks in China

Starbucks has operated in China for 17 years. The world's fastest-growing major economy has been a key development market for the coffee chain, which now has more than 2,300 cafés in 100-plus cities there.

Topic in-depth

Starbucks' massive plans for China

The coffee chain hopes to double its already burgeoning China business to a total of 5,000 stores by 2021.
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Starbucks

Starbucks Corporation is an American coffee company and coffeehouse chain. Starbucks was founded in Seattle, Washington in 1971. Today it operates 23,768 locations worldwide, including 13,107(+170) in the United States, 2,204(+86) in China, 1,418(-12) in Canada, 1,160(+2) in Japan and 872 in South Korea(bumping United Kingdom from 5th place)(Differences reflect growth since Jan 8, 2016).Starbucks is considered the main representative of"second wave coffee", initially distinguishing itself from other coffee-serving venues in the US by taste, quality, and customer experience, while popularizing darkly roasted coffee.