Star­bucks: China stores to pass US

China Daily (Canada) - - ACROSS AMERICAS - By AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Star­bucks said it ex­pects China to even­tu­ally over­take the US as the coffee chain’s largest mar­ket.

The Seat­tle com­pany said it is on track to open 500 stores in China this year. It ex­pects to have a to­tal of 3,400 stores in China by 2019.

Star­bucks cur­rently has 2,000 stores in China, mak­ing it the com­pany’s se­cond largest mar­ket af­ter the US. The com­pany has more than 12,000 stores in the US that it ei­ther op­er­ates or li­censes to oth­ers.

“Over time, it’s con­ceiv­able that China could be­come our largest mar­ket,” said Star­bucks CEO Howard Schultz, in a state­ment.

A Star­bucks spokes­woman de­clined to spec­ify when the com­pany ex­pects that to hap­pen.

“We are deeply hum­bled by the en­thu­si­asm with which Chi­nese peo­ple have em­braced Star­bucks as part of their daily rit­ual over the past 17 years,” Schultz said.

Schultz vis­ited Chengdu, China, this week and an­nounced a new ben­e­fit for its Chi­nese work­ers. Some of its full-time baris­tas and shift su­per­vi­sors at com­pa­ny­owned stores will be able to re­ceive a monthly hous­ing al­lowance that cov­ers about 50 per­cent their monthly costs.

Shares of Star­bucks Corp rose $1.26, or 2.2 per­cent, to $59.08 in mid­day trad­ing Tues­day.

CFP

An in­te­rior view

of a Star­bucks shop in Nan­jing, East China’s Jiangsu prov­ince, in 2015.

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