Starbucks eyes China market

April 3rd, 2012 - 5:03 pm ICT by IANS  

Beijing, April 3 (IANS) Starbucks Corp expects China to become its second-biggest retail market measured by the number of its stores by 2014, following just behind the US.

John Culver, president of Starbucks China and Asia Pacific, said the coffee chain was planning to move faster into smaller cities in the second largest economy in the world, People’s Daily reported Tuesday.

China now is the fifth largest market for the Seattle-based Starbucks, following the US, Canada, Britain and Japan in that regard.

Starbucks will go from having shops in 48 Chinese cities, as it now does, to more than 70 by the end of 2015, Culver said.

Starbucks made new forays into 13 Chinese cities during its 2011 fiscal year, which ended in September.

The company now operates more than 570 stores in China. It celebrated the opening in October of its 500th store in China in Beijing.

The value of sales of China’s coffee shop market is forecast to increase by 55 percent to reach 4.5 billion yuan ($714 million) in 2015, up from 2.9 billion yuan last year, data from the London-based research firm Euromonitor International show.

In 2010, Starbucks held the largest share of China’s coffee shop market, occupying 66.3 percent, according to Euromonitor.

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