Starbucks plans massive expansion in China

Starbucks plans massive expansion in China

Boao (China): Starbucks Corp plans to have 1,500 stores in mainland China by 2015, nearly four times the current level, the firm’s Greater China chairman told Reuters in an interview on Friday.

Starbucks plans to expand into eight to 10 new cities every year, Wang Jinlong said on the sidelines of the Boao Forum for Asia on the southern Chinese island of Hainan.

“In recent years, China’s coffee culture has been changed to favour more coffee consumption, the time for coffee has arrived," Wang said, adding that the firm is on the watch for opportunities to invest in and develop tea products for China.

Starbucks chief executive Howard Schultz was in Kunming, China, late last year to sign an agreement with the government of Yunnan province to open and operate the firm’s first coffee bean farm.

The firm has about 400 stores in mainland China and 800 in the Greater China region.